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Unwrapping the Perfect Holiday: A Host’s Guide to Family-Friendly Holiday Cheer

As the festive season unfolds, hosting a family with a little one can be a delightful yet challenging experience. For those stepping into this parental labyrinth for the first time, we’ve crafted a pragmatic guide based on how we would like to be hosted with our kids. Here are nine insights to make this holiday season enjoyable for parents, children, and relatives.

1. Keep the Generational Advice at Bay: Embrace the Now

While acknowledging that parenting styles evolve, let’s agree to resist the urge to provide a historical perspective on child-rearing. Every generation has its own approach, and this holiday season is the parents’ chance to navigate it their way. We can do it in the spirit of harmonious celebrations.

2. Respect the Child’s Boundaries—They’re Human Too

Amidst the holiday activities, remember that little ones have their preferences and boundaries. Whether it’s refusing to sit on Grandpa’s lap or resisting Aunties’ attempts at kisses, respect their autonomy. Children are human beings with their comfort levels, and they deserve the agency to set their own boundaries.

3. Respect Their Schedule—Sleep Is Sacred (and So Are Sleep-Ins)

Post-Christmas board games are a festive tradition, but remember, if parents stay up too late, the prospect of a leisurely sleep-in dwindles. So, don’t ask parents to stay up for just “one more game.” Play on, but with an awareness of the clock, ensuring everyone gets their share of post-celebration rest.

4. Hold Off from Buying Another Noisy Plastic Dinosaur—Opt for Harmony

Cute, noisy toys may seem like a great idea, but consider gifts that engage without causing a holiday uproar. A puzzle, a soft book, or an activity that doesn’t double as a miniature concert or a new alarm clock for the family could be more appreciated by the parental unit.

5. Flu Season Calls for Handwashing, Not Face Planting—A Joint Effort

As flu season approaches, maintaining a healthy environment is key. If the parents ask you to, don’t kiss the baby. Let’s collectively commit to regular handwashing, ensuring everyone stays healthy, and the holiday season remains free from unwanted sniffles.

6. Respect the Parents’ Instincts—They’re the Pros

Parents have an innate understanding of their child’s needs. If they’ve set specific rules or preferences, consider them as valuable as the unwritten rules of a family game night. It’s about creating an environment where everyone can enjoy the holidays without unnecessary disruptions.

7. Lay Off Giving the Toddler Candy—No Backstage Sugar Agreements

While visions of sugarplums dance in our heads, respect the parents’ decision on sugar intake for their little ones. It’s crucial. No clandestine pacts with the toddler about not revealing their sugary escapades to mum or dad. Let’s keep the holidays sweet, but not a sugar-fueled saga.

8. Give Parents a Breather, Not a Bah Humbug—Sanity in the Season

In the midst of holiday chaos, offering parents a moment of respite is a priceless gift. Volunteer for toddler duty, allowing Mum to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or take the baby for a stroll, giving Dad the chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep. It’s a gift that goes beyond material offerings, leaving parents grateful and rejuvenated.

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