Let’s face it – Christmas isn’t a one-man or woman show.

Its key player may be a big guy with a red suit and a white beard, but when it comes down to pulling off a Christmas Day celebration that gets everyone in the festive mood, it’s a team effort.

Making Christmas a family affair and enlisting the help of the kids is a great way of ensuring that you’ll come out of December unscathed. Whether it’s a spring-clean of the toy box or a rewards system for the kids (because Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice), there are plenty of ways to ensure that you don’t go into Christmas alone and unprepared.

Out with the old and in with the new

So what do you do with the toys that the kids don’t want anymore? You can head straight to charity shops like the Salvos or Vinnies (which is the best option especially at this time of year), or you can hop online for a quick sell. You’ve got the usual sites like eBay or Gumtree, but there are some new kids on the block that are worth taking note of. Facebook pages like Sutherland Shire – Buy, Swap and Sell, Sydney Inner-West Buy, Swap and Sell and Melbourne Buy, Swap and Sell are really worth your time – the buyers are local, there’s no joining fee, and it’s as easy as posting on the page’s wall and waiting for someone to take the bait. And it gets addictive – my first item sold in 10 minutes, and I’ve put many more items for sale since then.

Reward the kids

It’s true that nothing motivates kids more than presents. I hate to say it but I’m guilty of using the “Naughty or Nice” rewards system at Christmas (if only it lasted all year!). I figure if you reward the kids for their good work they’ll happily carry on helping you where you need it. And it doesn’t end there – sites like Portable North Pole really put you all in the Christmas spirit by creating personalised Santa messages for your little ones.

If you’re (un)lucky enough to have Christmas at your place this year, a rewards system for the kids is a great way of getting all the smaller jobs ticked off your to-do list. When you’ve got big jobs to worry about (like putting up the Christmas lights, basting the turkey and organising presents) there’s no harm in passing on the smaller jobs to the youngsters. With Santa watching, you can tell them it’s their last chance to convince him they’ve not been little monsters all year (but loveable monsters, of course).

How do you make it through the silly season? Got any tips of your own? Comment below and let us all know.

Merry Christmas all!
Fel

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