It’s that time of year where we seem to be meeting ourselves coming and going. Holiday time is fun and magical, but it can also be very stressful. A few easy tips (or reminders) on keeping the holidays as stress-free as possible.
- Be realistic – No parent can do it all. We think that somehow we have to do every activity with our children while attending office parties, cooking every possible holiday dessert from scratch, wrapping presents and decking the halls with perfect boughs of holly. It’s ok not to do everything and honestly – most people won’t notice if you don’t do everything perfectly from scratch. If you are completely stressed, you won’t be able to be present to your children. Concentrate on a few things that are important to you and your family and let the rest go.
- Put on your kiddie googles – That’s right, see the holidays through your child’s eyes. You may want to hop from house to house and fit in as much as possible during the holidays, but that may be confusing to your children if you are changing homes late at night to go to the next party. It may be as simple as explaining to them why you are doing the activities you are doing or you may want to do something special as you travel from event to event such as let them pick out the holiday song you will sing, or perhpas cut down on how many events/parties you attend, etc.
- Explain, explain, explain – The holidays mean something different to every family. Be sure to explain to your children why your family celebrates the holidays. If the holidays are part of your religious tradition, explain the religious meaning to your children. If your holidays are about gathering to share love with family and friends, explain that to your children. Don’t rely on others to explain the meaning of the holidays to them.
Most of all have fun. The holidays don’t have to be perfect – they only need to be what you and your family want them to be.
What holiday stress-free tips do you have?
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