Are you feeling kind of blah this year? Having trouble finding the magic of Christmas’ past? Holidays are definitely different with teens. They may not wake you at 6 am ready to unwrap presents. They may roll their eyes at the gingerbread house decorating. They may even act surly and indifferent this year. A lot of time and money and effort has gone into this holiday. Here are some tips for making Christmas day special with teens.
- Pick and Choose your battles. What is your single most important tradition? Encourage them to participate pleasantly in that tradition but go ahead and do another one without them and you enjoy it! This is a good time to find out which traditions were for the kids in the first place and which ones really matter to you. Things are changing and maybe the teen years are a good transition to new traditions that will become equally important.
- Set a reasonable time to start the festivities. If your teen has younger siblings or cousins who are up and ready, they may just have to be coaxed out of bed. But if you have a house full of teens, what about having Santa come Christmas Eve and stay up late as a family enjoying gifts and time together? Your teens are sure to be impressed with your coolness if you tell them the fun begins at midnight!
- Food. Lots of food. Find out your teens favorite food and serve it up! Sure maybe you are used to cookies and cheese and crackers, but if your teen is thrilled about sushi this year, why not have a wider variety of food? Have them make the menu and each family member add their own favorite or must have item.
- Having guests? Nothing, besides cleaning, makes teens run to hide faster than guests. This year ask your teen to make the playlist for the party. Don’t even know what that is or how to get that hooked up and playing in your house? Don’t worry, your teen does. They will love choosing the music and might stick around a little longer with guests to talk about music or at least watch everyone’s shocked reactions to some of their songs!
- Does your teen like to cook? Bake? Craft? Wrap? Find your teens interests and give them the responsibility to do those things and highlight how important and appreciated it is. Your teen can bake a batch of cookies. They can be in charge of dessert. They can decorate place cards. They can wrap all of the family gifts. If your teen is none of those things, what is his “thing”? Does he like being right all the time? Have him make a trivia game to play later in the day. Does he sleep all day and play endless video games? Have him teach you to play one of his favorite games. Your teen has a thing. What is it and how can you use that to help them engage in the day? Be creative!
- Play games. You will probably struggle to get them to play the traditional games. How about something different or new? How about teach them to play poker and use candy canes as your chips? Or LCR (http://www.amazon.com/LCR-Center-Right-Random-Color/dp/B000F9YDKY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1450881065&sr=8-4&keywords=left+center+right) and give everyone ten dollars in quarters to play. Winner keeps all! Minute To Win it games can be fun! Trivia games and strategy games challenge your teens to engage in a little healthy competition. Have fun! If you are having fun and laughing, they may have no choice but to jump on board and laugh a little too.
A smile, a laugh, a connection between you and your teen is what the magic of Christmas is about this year. It was pretty easy to surprise them, thrill them or “wow” them when they were little. That was fun. Now you will have to be more creative and more open to different in order to pull off that smile or wow factor. Good luck! Have fun! Find a way to connect with your teen today!