The Holiday season is firmly upon and having survived (hopefully) the first major winter holiday, the “BIG” one is coming up fast. I never really got that stressed by all of the Holiday hullaballoo until this year…my first year with a kiddo in tow! Cleaning, decorating, travel, shopping, cooking/baking…it really adds up (multiplies up if you ask me!). Do you set in place routines, rules or discussions before the season starts to help deal with the stress?
Here are some things to think about as Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s approach…
* Remember routines: eating times, sleep times/wake up times all seem to get lost in the hustle-bustle of the holiday season. Especially for parents of small children, maintaining your routine as closely as possible can help reduce stress for yourself and for your child, which makes everyone more at ease and happy.
*Family traditions — as adults we tend to sometimes forget how important those small (and sometimes big) traditions were to us. Establish a tradition with your family (I’d love to hear some of yours!) like making cookies for Santa, decorating a gingerbread house, making an Advent calendar for the home. Children look forward to these small things that the family can do together sometimes more than presents and sweets, and they’re a great time for family bonding.
*Nutrition — Its easy as your days seem shorter and there are more things to get done than can be done to take the easy way out and get fast food (ever notice how much longer those lines are around the holidays?). Try to make healthy choices for mealtimes both at home and while eating out. Limit sweets and treats to those few special days, or better yet, have fun making them and nibbling a little bit, then give them to a needy family or a shelter—It’s a good way for you to spread some holiday cheer and teach your little ones about the spirit of giving.
*Take a break — Holidays are a “break” that you feel like you need a second vacation to recover from. Make time for everyone to decompress and rest in their own way, try not to overschedule every day with errands, parties, get-togethers and tasks. A little down time for everyone will make the rest of the holidays go more smoothly, and you enjoy the times you are busy so much more!
*Laugh — after all, laughter is the best medicine. Have some silly time plans mixed in with all of your chores/tasks and ‘need to do’ lists, sing songs with the kids, read some comics, tell stories about past Holidays.
Enjoy your Holidays with your family, each moment is precious!