The calendar is filling up with events! The to-do list is getting longer. The kids broke yet another ornament off the tree. And apparently there is a bake sale happening tomorrow! The holiday season is magical, but can be quite chaotic for some families. Especially when you have young children experiencing the Christmas Holidays.
But don’t let that snow ruffle your feathers! Here are some easy tips to help you navigate through the holidays, to hopefully help reduce your stress.
You work so hard to create the magic, don’t forget to enjoy it yourself!
Discuss your Expectations with Family
Holiday events can be hard to organize because most of the time it ends up being a juggle to get everyone at the same place, at the same time. The time might not agree with your routine, or you might have to leave early. Make sure you are open about this with your family, and explain to them your plan. And don’t be afraid to say, “if the baby is not handling the crowd very well, you might leave early.” Telling people ahead of time, setting the expectation will make the moment a lot easier to handle.
Balance Child Greediness
Create some opportunities for your child to “give” this holiday season. Yes it’s ok for them to have a long wish list, and want specific toys. But give them the opportunity to really understand the idea of “gift giving” and supporting those in your community. Have them help pick out toys for a Giving Tree, have them donate some of their own money. Or have them help you pick out a charity or two to donate too as a family.
Try to Stick to a Routine
This is a hard one! But I’ve learned that it’s important as a parent to enjoy all the Christmas Magic too. And it can be hard to do that with cranky, over tired kids. Try your best to plan events around your schedule. And don’t feel guilty if you have to say no to some because they don’t worm for you. But don’t feel bad if you do end up straying from the routine. We usually pick one event, one that is special to us where we don’t mind deviating from the schedule.
Talk to your child about their boundaries
With family events come people wanting hugs, maybe a kiss on the cheek. But it’s important to talk to your child and let them know they have a voice, no matter their age. So if they don’t want to give a hug, they can say no. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Epic meltdowns are going to happen, I’m just going to be honest. Instead of trying to completely avoid them, accept that it might happen before it does. There is a lot that happens during the holidays. Large gatherings, huge excitement and many miles. And when it doesn’t happen that often, it can be a huge load for a child to take that all on emotionally. So just know, they’re going to happen, and maybe finesse how you will deal with them. Try to create moments of down time in between busy events.
Discuss clothing options before an event
This is always a big issue around the holidays, and it ends up in parents frustrated and kids upset. And years down the road, you won’t remember the outfit, you will remember the struggle. A few days before the event, talk about the outfits. Lay out your expectations, or maybe have them help you pick it out. So they have a say in what they will be wearing. I do find laying out the expectations before the events makes the whole “getting ready” part that much simpler. And if your child is really putting their foot down. Try to work together to come up with a solution that you both can live with.
A little planning ahead can make all the difference around the holiday season. So find time to sit down, maybe with a glass of wine. And do a bit of prep work to help you make the most out of this holiday season!