I'm prepping for both my boys to be home for the holiday season, which means making sure the house is 100% ready for PLAY time. This week I wanted to share five tips from my book, one from each chapter, to help us all gear up for a playful holiday season:
1. Your PlaygroundOne super cheat I've found to make those holiday meals a lot more enjoyable? Making the dishes and clean-up afterward festive as well. Head out and buy (or make!) some soaps or candles that smell like your favorite holidays scents (pine, poinsettia, etc!). Use them only during the holidays and then store them for next year—seriously. Nobody needs gingerbread scents in April.
2. Play with Your Family
This is one of my absolute FAVES from the book, and one of our ongoing family holiday traditions. Queue up "Elf", make the ultimate pillow fort in front of the tv, and set up a hot-chocolate bar with all the toppings. You can even kick it up a notch by making a drinking game (non-alcoholic for those of us with underage kids of course). I even made a handy-dandy printable for ya'll.
3. Play with Your Mate
There's no avoiding it. At some point during your holiday happy-family-everyone-together time, the kids will be heading straight out the door to hang out with their friends. Instead of moping about how they don't think you're "cool enough" to hang out with, cherish this one-on-one time with your main squeeze. You can head out to one of those "corny" holiday events like a tree lighting, or just go for a walk in the snow. (I recommend filling a thermos with coffee or hot chocolate, topped with Baileys.)
4. Play with Your Friends
A great idea for the holiday season is to team up with your friends and volunteer somewhere together. I once heard a story about a group of girlfriends who went to visit a local nursing home, and met a group of girlfriends that seemed like their future selves. They spent the whole day with those ladies, and learned just as much as they laughed.
5. Play for YourselfI've found a little alone time can be KEY to a happy happy holiday. Cozy up in your fave winter jammies, and read a good book. I prefer a funny book, but it's all about what YOU love. A few I can recommend are I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and Bossypants by Tina Fey.
For more ideas to introduce play into each aspect of your life, check out my book Well Played! It makes a great gift for parents of any age and stage, and would look pretty good on your wish list too!