Keep the Family Occupied Until Gift Giving Starts

15287057_SIn the hours before gift giving starts in your family, it can be difficult to keep little ones from going crazy with excitement. It’s smart to plan an activity or two to help tide them over until it’s time for presents. These suggestions may help.

Plan a pre-gift. The night before or the morning before opening presents, have one gift ready to open early. The best choice is a game, a puzzle or a couple of new movies, something that will keep everyone occupied for a few hours.

Schedule an event. A visit to a holiday light show, a family concert or even a drive to look at lights can bring the holiday into focus and take up time with restless family members. Look for holiday-themed events – there are plenty in every community at this time of year.

Bake cookies. Making a batch of sugar cookies with cookie cutters and colored frosting and decorations, followed by a cookie feast with milk can easily take up an afternoon. Also, you’re ready with cookies to leave for Santa. Have everyone choose their favorite cookie to give the jolly guy.

Stage a pajama party. With new PJs for everyone, a special DVD or two, and popcorn and favorite snacks all wrapped up in a big box to open and enjoy, you’re ready for an exciting evening that can keep everyone occupied till bedtime. Some of those cookies would be tasty here too.

Whatever you choose to do, planning the time before presents will make a much nicer holiday for everyone, particularly parents who may get tired of hearing, “Is it time yet?” every 20 minutes or so. And it gives you a chance to start some new holiday traditions with your family.

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