We have gathered tips from influential people providing practical advice on how to tackle this year’s festive season with kids:

Share the time as well as the food

“Make every mealtime a time for talking and listening: the conversation will do you – and the children – as much good as the food.”

– Hugh Mackay, Social Researcher and Author

Introduce “no screen time”

“Get the family outdoors at least once a day. Have a “no screen time” every day, then kick a ball, walk the dog, catch a movie, enjoy each other!”

– Anthony Field, Blue Wiggle

Let somebody else host

“Leave home! For years, my family and I have travelled interstate to celebrate Christmas with our parents and in-laws and extended families in South Australia. There is a certain amount of juggling involved here, but the upside is that on Christmas Day, we’re up for anything. And we’re turning up to someone else’s place with a salad. Or a ham. Or a fabulous dessert. Which means I’m not up till all hours sobbingly trying to make witty personalised crackers or achieve a clear surface in my own house. The kids love being somewhere new, and seeing all their cousins becomes the real treat of the day.”

– Annabel Crabb, ABC political reporter and host of The Kitchen Cabinet

Be in the moment

Be ‘in the moment’ with your kids. Let go of agendas, devices, time pressures, and hassles. Instead, get down on the floor with them, play, and get into their world. Swim at the beach or the pool with them, ride in the park with them, run on the grass with them, throw a ball with them. Embrace the moment, be in it, and lose yourself playing together.”

– Dr Justin Coulson, Family specialist

Share your secret wish

“Sit on Santa’s lap and make two Christmas wishes – a wish for you and a wish for someone you love – and make the whole family do it together! Because we all have a Christmas wish, even us big kids. And telling someone – sharing that secret – it makes you believe! It also reminds you, in the craziest, busiest time of year, someone is always there – listening.”

– Davina Smith, Nine News presenter

Take time

“A tip for all year, but particularly at Christmas, take time with your children to …read a book together; to lie on the lawn together; to have a conversation about anything and everything; don’t get in the car for a whole day and just go for a walk or a bike ride. The simple things are best!”

– Margie Abbott, Prime Minister’s wife

Create your own traditions

“We don’t need more ‘stuff’ in this world, we need more heart. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this time of year should be more about giving through actions and words, and not material possessions. Shut off expectations around how your Christmas ‘should’ look this year, and reconnect to what is important to you and those you love. Then create new traditions to support this over the years ahead.”

– Siobhan Doran, The Writers’ Group

Teach kindness

“Teaching a child to be kind is a gift to everyone who crosses their path over an entire lifetime and beyond.”

– Jo O’Brien, Director and Owner, Platinum Preschool

Play together

“Let your guard down. Take the pressure off. Play with your kids. Be silly, be fun, be free”.

– Chelsea Taylor, Kidoodle Toy store owner

Brighten somebody else’s day

“Remember to spare a thought for those less fortunate than you and think of ways to brighten their day as well as yours.”

– Tania Riley, Principal, Clovelly Public School

Hug your own parents

“Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones and by showing them you love them. If you get to spend Christmas with your own parents this year, give them a hug and tell them ‘I love you’.”

– Elly Oh, The Voice 2014 finalist

Hand write cards

“Forget ‘to and from’. I mean REALLY write in your cards to your kids. Write something about an important moment or achievement you witnessed for them this year. Acknowledge the person they are becoming as a moment in time. What you write next year will be entirely different. Capture this year in a card.”

– Margo Ward, KidsXpress CEO and Founder

What’s your Christmas tip? Tell us on our Facebook Page or Twitter feed.

KidsXpress has produced a series of Christmas cards featuring paintings by kids who have been through their trauma intervention expressive therapy program.

Packs of 10 cards can be purchased for $25 per pack at our online store.