We had what was possibly the best Christmas Break of all time! The squeals of delight when they were opening their presents to the afternoon naps were just some of the delights that made my storybook Christmas.
Some tips for making your kids behave before Christmas -
1. Advent calendar at night - we don't even fill the calendar until the evening - so their ability to collect the prize is based on overall behavior. Mommy has the ability to say who gets to wear the elf hat and open the door - again based on behavior. Here is the clincher - there is always three treats, so if you are not eligible, your brothers get your treat. Psychology may say no, but the practical mom, says YES THANK YOU!
Confessions - I waited until they were all good to give the best prize which was GIANT Hershey bars - they knew something great was coming, it was a great day!
Tip #2 Don't put your gifts out until Christmas gifts until late Christmas Eve Night so you eliminate counting of presents, shaking of gifts, peeking through the cheap wrapping paper, comparing sizes of gifts (size does matter when you are a little boy), or overall greedy behavior. It also leads to great glee in the morning when the gifts are revealed.
Tip #3 - Have a family activity at night that everyone can participate in that builds family "togetherness." We choose a Sorry Game that we beefed up with 7 game pieces each - it was a marathon game, lasting more than 10 days!
Tip #4 - This is more about how to keep it under control after Christmas - When Christmas shopping, think about what toys they will actually play with and then schedule time for them to actually play with those toys. We are on the strict side with video games and movies, which out kids LOVE, so we scheduled a large amount of time for them to play the new Wii - we just let it go and let them play. We also scheduled family time to play at the park with new toys and to just let them RUN FREE like the wild animals they are...gotta love little boys.
**More on schedules later.
Tip #5 - Make sure that YOU have time to do what you want to do. The other parent can take them for a little while. Rick took them hiking while I visited quilt stores and sewed a precious little, but it kept me from accidentally losing my mind and yelling at them. I took the boys while Rick went on runs - I know I totally got the good end of the deal!