Managing Holiday Stress

I have a tendency to overschedule.  As we enter the Holiday Season, this year more than ever I want to slow down, appreciate the small things and make time for family.  Here are a few things I am going to keep in mind, not just to keep sanity but hopefully to add enjoyment.

  • Help children plan their gift giving – I sat with the girls this weekend and helped them to build a list of what giftcards they wanted to get for which teachers, which friends they wanted to buy for and who they feel we need to add to our card list.
  • Start shopping early and space out errands –  We took a trip to the mall on Saturday night at 7:00pm to start on their lists and look for holiday ideas for a few relatives.  We are far enough out that it was low key and fun.
  • Focus on experience and time more than spending and things – We are focused on giving experiences like concert and play tickets or classes through the community center.  Claire (youngest daughter) is giving Troy (husband) a gift card for rock climbing they can use together.
  • Focus on your family’s true meaning of the holidays – Whatever your beliefs, focus there.  In our house there is focus on faith, family and traditions.  Build holiday activites around what is really important to you.
  • Build in kid-fun – It’s around this time every year, we spend a few hours on a Saturday morning making Gingerbread houses decorated with all the leftover Halloween candy.  Build pillow forts.  Stock up on hot cocoa.
  • Remember downtime in the schedule –  Most children benefit from having at least some downtime, relaxed playtime everyday.  As much as there are errands to run and places to be, build in time to chill and recharge.
  • Take time to be thankful – Have conversations often about what we are thankful for, what makes us happy, how we like to share our downtime, what we love about one another.  Especially when things are stressful, good to focus on and share the positives and good to be specific.
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