Blog: Quality Time

Spending more time rather than money could be the answer


As parents we can all be worried about how much time we spend with our children and convince ourselves that a few extra presents under the tree will help to ease the guilt.

However, a new survey reveals that children are happier spending time with mum and dad rather than having money spent on them during the festive season.

The research, conducted by charity Family Action, found that spending time together as a family is the top want for many children.

In many cases the kids involved in the survey expressed the desire to spend time doing the traditional holiday stuff such as putting up the decorations as a family or helping to prepare the Christmas dinner.

Family Action's chief executive Helen Dent said: "Children rate quality time with their families over any of the latest gadgets this Christmas.

"Parents spending their time with children, providing a family Christmas dinner and giving them opportunities to socialise with extended family are likely to go a long way to providing a positive festive experience that children will remember and cherish when the must have toys and gadgets have gone to the back of the cupboard."

So how do we make those great festive memories? Well in my house I've made a list of Christmas must dos for the family.

Settle down on the sofa with some popcorn and have a Christmas movie afternoon in the run-up to the big day. This year we're going for either Home Alone or Muppet's Christmas Carol. Do some Christmas baking for the neighbours. I've found some great ideas online for Christmas-themed cupcakes so planning to spend a day making a mess and having fun in the kitchen. Christmas Eve, just before bedtime, we are going to get dressed in our warmest clothes and take a wander through the village to look at Christmas lights before heading home for a mug of hot chocolate, some gingerbread stars and a reading of The Night Before Christmas. Save one present to open on Boxing Day morning so the fun can continue for a little longer and write out the thank you notes to send to Father Christmas, family and friends.

Whatever traditions you start as a family remember to relax and just have fun - sometimes the Christmases that aren't perfect are the most enjoyable and memorable.

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