The holidays can be stressful. Finding the right gifts, fighting for parking spots at the mall, and dealing with difficult family members can put a damper on the holiday cheer. During the holidays, I don’t like being frazzled. I figure this is the time of year we should be enjoying our families and celebrating the miracle of Christmas. As a mom, I want to make sure to stay stress-free and make things fun for my kids. Here are some of my best holiday stress busting tips to keep things merry.
Don’t Go Pinterest Crazy
I love Pinterest as much as the next person. However, even though my holiday pin boards are filling up, I might pick one or two holiday ideas to try out from my boards. Don’t feel bad about making regular sugar cookies with cookie cutters and icing. Not everyone is making reindeer cake pops or cookies with textured fondant. You don’t need to crochet your kids’ Christmas stockings to be a great parent either.
Take Some Time to Relax
With all the hustle and bustle, it’s important to take some time to relax. Often times, I ask for a gift certificate for a pedicure for Christmas. You could have a family movie night where you all pick a few seasonal favorites. When it gets cold out, our family also enjoys making a fire and relaxing in front of it. Also, try to fit in a date night for some adult alone time.
Keep the Presents Modest
Have you ever noticed that when you purchase something expensive, the thought of it breaking or getting ruined stresses you out? In addition, sometimes I think we go overboard on our children’s gifts. Shopping on Black Friday to buy your child the latest popular toy of the season isn’t necessary. You might find that your Christmas is simpler (and less stressful) with fewer gifts.
Just Say “No”
When the holidays roll around, there are more school activities, seasonal plays and functions to attend. While I believe it’s important to give, I also think it’s vital to know your breaking point. If you think another volunteer project at school or a Christmas party for your child’s soccer team might be too much, just say “no.”
Avoid Stressful Situations
When I was younger, I used to enjoy going to the mall a day or two before Christmas. Now, I finish all of my shopping early because I don’t enjoy crowds and long lines. For some people, they like the hustle and bustle. However, if busy shopping malls stress you out, avoid these types of places. Shop online when you can or go in the early morning hours several weeks before Christmas. In general, I try to avoid long lines when I have my kids with me.
Stay Organized and Be Prepared
When you have kids, it’s important to stay organized. Write down all your children’s holiday events on a calendar. I like to use Google calendar because it sends me reminders about where and when I have to be. If your older sibling has a holiday performance, make sure to bring plenty of snacks and quiet activities. This way, you won’t end up missing the performance because you are in the hallway with a screaming toddler. And, if you are running low on pancake mix for Christmas morning breakfast or gravy for Thanksgiving, it’s always better to have more than less. This will prevent last minute trips to the grocery store and upset children (who want one more snowman pancake).
Banish holiday stress with these simple tips!
More from Melissa:
How to Prevent Your Children From Having a Holiday Meltdown
7 Inexpensive Christmas Traditions for Kids
7 Simple Activities for Sick Toddlers