Celebrating Christmas when you have young children is hard work but so very rewarding. All those magical moments with your little ones…
So what happens when your children get older and hit the teenage years? Is it all eye-rolling and shouting at them to get out of their rooms and off their phones? It absolutely doesn’t have to be!
We’re Louise and Anna from Equipp. We both adore Christmas and have celebrated many happy Christmases with our teens (we’ve raised five between us) over the last ten years. It’s a different experience but an equally special one. For a start, no more getting up at the crack of dawn and getting through the day in a zombie-like exhausted trance – instead, you get a festive lie-in!
Here are our top tips for making Christmas as magical as ever during the teenage years:
Embrace the opportunity
You probably already have established family traditions when it comes to Christmas, but when you have younger children, these are likely to reflect what you and your partner did when you were young. Apart from the dreaded elf on the shelf (how glad are we that we missed that!), Christmas with little ones has followed a pretty set pattern for generations.
But now your kids are older, you can forget all of that. Relish the chance to do exactly what you all want to do at Christmas and establish some really cool, fun traditions with your teens.
One of Anna’s happiest Christmases was during the first lockdown, “where just the five of us all wore PJs all day, ate what we wanted when we wanted, played games and watched movies together. No structure or formality, no worrying about what Christmas Day should look like. And it was a dream!”
Get them involved
If you only take one piece of advice away from this blog, it should be this one. Start early and get everyone involved in planning your Christmas. Ask everyone for ideas and make sure they know that everything will be considered – no suggestion is too silly to discuss.
Make sure if you can that everyone’s ideas are catered for, especially when it comes to family activities to do over the Christmas period.
Put them in charge
Another way to get them enthusiastic about the festive season is to give them sole responsibility for one part of Christmas. It could be decorations; with a budget they can spend on anything they want. You might not end up with the most tasteful tree but equally they might surprise you! There are bound to be some TikToks on what’s hot this year that they’ll love to follow…
Or you could put them in charge of a family Christmas Eve box. They might have had these individually as children, but with teens it’s a good idea to group everything together and make it a family affair. A new board game of their choice, some snacks and drinks for a movie night, a book of cocktail (and mocktail!) recipes… Whatever they decide on, they’ll look forward to Christmas Eve with the family.
Start Christmas early
With teens, you don’t need to focus as much on Christmas Day itself. You can enjoy the whole season with trips and activities.
There’s no doubt that Christmas trips are great fun with teens, provided they’re genuinely on board with the destination. Whether it’s a trip to the movies, ice-skating, Christmas markets or light shows, it’s just easier and better with older kids.
If you’re short on ideas, this might help: https://equipp.co.uk/how-to-make-christmas-with-teens-magical/
Set clear boundaries
Teens want to hang out with their friends. All the time. And unless you’re going away, there will be plenty of time for them to see their friends. You won’t be alone when you’re requiring them to spend time with family only, which makes life much easier, but it is important to be very clear in advance when you will need them to be at home or with you. This will avoid arguments at the time.
Don’t forget they’re still children
Don’t make them grow up too quickly. Let them enjoy what they loved about Christmas as a younger child, if they’re still keen to incorporate those elements into your day. Chat to them about what the highlights of Christmas are to them and what they want to hold on to as they get older.
We always try not to speak for teens, but to make sure we ask them directly what they think. So, we spoke to some of the teens and young adults we work with, and this is what they had to say:
“I would say I enjoyed Christmas as a teenager even more than as a young child; at that point you’re aware of how much love and effort go into the gifts, and I think then it means even more.” Izzy
“It’s nicer as you’re more in control of your gifts – you can get exactly what you want and ask for! It’s a shift from pure kiddy excitement to a different type of appreciation.” Elliott
“You can have a nice lie in instead of being as obsessed with the gifts! You realise how special the traditions are and that Christmas is more about family than presents.” Jas
“You don’t lose the anticipation, but it changes.” Sash
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! We hope you enjoy celebrating Christmas with your teenagers and hope you have a wonderfully happy time.
Louise & Anna x
A little bit about Equipp
We’re Louise & Anna, mum to 5 teens and young adults. We set up Equipp to help spread happiness and positivity amongst today’s amazing young people. We believe it’s vital that every teenager is given confidence to believe in themselves. Telling them how wonderful they are and putting a daily smile on their faces via the cards and gifts they receive from Equipp is integral to everything we design and produce. Have a browse around our collections of birthday and teenage milestone gifts and please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like any recommendations.
We love to celebrate teenagers in every way, and are building a community of parents who feel the same. We hope you enjoy reading our blog posts and we’d love it if you came and joined us on Instagram or Facebook to chat about parenting teens.
Oh, and we’re raising money for a fantastic teenage suicide prevention charity, Hector’s House, with a donation from every purchase from Equipp.
Find out more about Equipp on our #ShopLocal directory or visit their website.