It might be one of the busiest times of the year, but Christmas is also the time when your kids are most likely to want to get involved in the preparations.
In fact, if you can build on their excitement about the festive season – and maybe throw in a little bribery! – you should be able to get some of the most time-consuming tasks off your plate, leaving your Christmas less frantic.
Here are eight jobs your kids should be more than happy to take off your hands…
Tidy up (ages 4+)
It’s not such a fun job, but you can get your kids to collect up all the toys, books and clutter around the lounge and kitchen – for the promise of Christmas chocolates or mince pies they’ll be willing to make a little extra effort. Check out our article, Trick the kids into tidying up, for some more ideas.
Decorate the tree (ages 6+)
Get the tree standing securely upright, then let your children express themselves with baubles, tinsel and trinkets (avoid glass decorations for little ones). Young kids will love this, but even teenagers will enjoy it, especially if you give them responsibility for setting the colour scheme and design. They can always Instagram the results!
Play at being chef (ages 8+)
Younger ones can wash the Christmas lunch veg, remove outer leaves from sprouts, and wrap up all the peelings into a parcel for the recycling caddy. While dads and older kids can help chop the veg.
As well as helping you, this should also instil a sense of pride that they’ve been involved in preparing the biggest meal of the year!
Load the dishwasher (ages 9+)
Leaving you or dad to load any sharp knives, big pots and pans and delicate glasses, you can let your child stack the rest of the dishwasher. They can treat it like a jigsaw puzzle, finding the right spot for the right item.
They won’t even have to rinse the dirty plates first, as Fairy Platinum Dishwasher Tablets break down all leftover food particles and tough stuck-on grime, meaning you’ll get a sparkling clean, first time.
Wrap the presents (ages 10+)
Wrapping and writing labels takes more time than you think, so share out this task with gifts that don’t have to be kept secret from your children. Little ones can get creative with ribbon and glitter, while older kids will enjoy perfecting their wrapping techniques!
Organise your Christmas card list (ages 11+)
Get names and addresses printed off by the member of the family who is never off the computer. Or if they’re arty, ask them to handwrite the envelopes with a really nice pen for a more personal touch (obviously make sure the writing is legible!).
Alternatively, go green and save money by getting them to seek out a website where they can personalise a short film with uploaded family photos and send out e-cards by email for you.
Choose the gifts (ages 12+)
Give your teen the budget to buy the gifts for the younger kids on your list. They should be close enough in age to still know what will go down well. To avoid any cheeky pranks, get them to choose them online and save a list for you, so you can approve them and pay for them. You could even start a private Pinterest board to share ideas.
Make pudding (ages 13+)
Put your teen in charge of Christmas dessert. Let them find the recipe (they could try our cranberry, pear and walnut torte, pecan pie, or Christmas fruitcake !), buy the ingredients (or pick it out at the supermarket with you), and make it. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, it’s a lovely way of getting them involved and helping them to learn life skills.
To help you save money over Christmas, check out our coupons on our offers page.