Many families find themselves stretched thin over the holidays – be it traveling, hosting and attending parties or even financial obligations, stress levels are at an all-time high. Unfortunately a busy schedule often leads to short-tempered parents and tired, grumpy kids. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Stop and take a deep breath. Close your eyes and compose yourself. Here are some tips to help you get stuff done but still enjoy the holidays.
How To Enjoy The Holidays:
Picture your kids’ smiling faces. Feel the worry melt away. Now that you are in the zone, keep reading for some tips to ensure a relaxed and stress-free holiday.
1. Turn on the Holiday Tunes
Nothing gets the family in the holiday spirit better than holiday music. Singing the classics is a sure fire way to relieve some stress after a long day shopping or wrapping presents. Be sure to get up and dance with the kids too! They’ll love the opportunity to burn off some holiday excitement. They’ve probably learned some new songs at school that they would love to share. But beware! Once you get “Jingle Bells” in your head, you’ll be singing it until after New Years!
2. Get Some Fresh Air
The kitchen is a mess from baking holiday treats and the kids are bouncing off the walls wanting some attention. Stress levels are rising faster than the loaf cake in the oven! Have the kids dress themselves in their outdoor gear while you tidy the kitchen and head outside. Take advantage of free skating at the local arena or outdoor rink. Grab the toboggan and head to the nearest hill. The kids will love to stretch their legs and the fresh air will certainly help them sleep later. Fresh air and exercise will help you all relax and enjoy the holidays. If you didn’t get all of your baking done, relax. Just head to the store and supplement your stock with some store-bought treats. Mix them up on a plate and nobody will know. They’ll just wonder how you manage to get it all done!
3. Stick to Your Own Schedule
There’s no sense in trying to make everyone else happy if it makes your own family miserable. If your kids become overtired and over stimulated, it will inevitably lead to a meltdown; a scene that nobody wants to experience. It’s important to stick to your regular routine as best as possible. If you are visiting friends or family, consider packing a portable bassinet or playpen that can be set up in a spare room so baby can take a nap. By sticking to their regular routine, your kids will be happier and better able to wind-down for a good night’s sleep. Try not to stay out too late either. By keeping their same bedtime, you shouldn’t have problems getting them to sleep or up in the morning when school resumes.
4. Instill Holiday Cheer
The holidays are a great time to talk to your children about the importance of appreciation and gratitude. Start or end the day with a discussion about what they are grateful for. They might have a hard time thinking of things at the beginning, but before you know it your kids will learn to appreciate the little things. Stress and worries will melt away when you realize that you have so much to the thankful for. The holidays are also a great time to exercise some generosity and compassion. Do something to help out someone less fortunate. Have your kids pick out some toys and clothing to donate to a less fortunate child. Help clear snow from an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk. Read stories that emphasize giving and your kids will come up with their own ideas on how to help others.
5. ‘Tis the Season
If the kids are getting stir-crazy from sitting in the car or from being constricted at Grandma’s house, try modifying some of their favorite games to suit the season. Turn “Eye Spy” into “Rudolph Spies” and pick out objects that are holiday themed. Change “Simon Says” into “Santa Says” and instruct the kids to make snow angels, throw invisible snowballs or catch snowflakes in their mouths. Enjoy the holidays and get the family laughing by dressing up the dog with silly antlers or a sweater. You can wear silly sweaters yourselves and start an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” theme for your Christmas party. Make sure to take plenty of photographs!
Everyone can follow these simple tips to ensure a relaxing and stress-free holiday, no alcohol required! By spending quality time with your friends and family, keeping your schedule intact and appreciating your time together, you can relax and enjoy the holidays. What special holiday traditions do you have to help everyone enjoy the holiday season?