With the holiday season just around the corner friends and family will soon be getting together to share food, fun and gifts. This time of year always creates special memories, but also a great deal of stress for those doing the hosting.  You want your party to be perfect, but between the crowds at the mall, grocery store and the regular tasks of daily life there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. A successful holiday celebration calls for delegation to save your sanity and keep the kids busy while on break from school.

Gregg Murset, CEO of BusyKid and father of six children, has created the following holiday survival guide to help busy moms and dads identify chores kids of all ages can tackle.

  1. Festive First Impressions – If guests are coming their first impression will be made as soon as they pull up to your home.  Kids of all ages can help decorate the windows, doors or yard to match any holiday season festivities. Put older kids in charge of raking leaves or hanging lights on taller places. Assign younger children things to do closer to their skill level.
  2. Hosting Housework – While the outside can provide a great first impression, it’s important that the inside of the house or apartment is welcoming as well.  Again assign your children tasks that match their ages and skill sets. Make sure to give them a deadline to help teach time management and keep them focused.
  3. Handy In The Kitchen – Do any of your children love cooking or baking? If so, recruit them to be extra hands in the kitchen.  Besides the additional helping hands, think about the special memories you’ll be creating.
  4. Spread Cheer – A popular family outing over the holiday season is going to help out at a local food bank, soup kitchen or family medical center. These opportunities fill up fast and the help is always appreciated. Do you know what is even more helpful? Showing up to serve the few weeks after the holiday season is over. Show your kids that helping out is important year-round.
  5. Clean Up, Clean Up – Recovering from a party or guests can be even more work than getting ready. Give each child a job they can handle to help you clean up like collecting trash from around the house, doing dishes, vacuuming floors or just general tidying up like folding blankets or straightening pillows.
  6. Pay Your Kids – Even though you may be hosting a family event, show your kids that you’re will to pay an allowance for the work they do during the holidays.  Sure, there are some chores that can be done for free, but if your child is willing to go above and beyond, you can too.  After all, if you had to work over the holidays you’d want to be paid, right?
  7. Holiday Bonus – Consider giving your child a holiday bonus for doing great work, but encourage them to donate a portion to a local charity. It shows them they can get rewarded for quality hard work and also, that it feels good to help others less fortunate.