The holiday season is a time when families, relatives and friends gather to celebrate together, some from different parts of the world. It can be an exhausting time as you try to fit it all into your already hectic schedule.
Ten tips for keeping your sanity during the holiday season:
- P, P and P. Prepare, plan ahead and pace yourself.
- Keep plans simple: one or two activities per week. It’s about QUALITY NOT QUANTITY. Make a family “downtime” part of the plans. This might be the time to watch a holiday movie at home.
- Include everyone in the preparations and planning of activities. Use family meetings as a way of enlisting everyone’s help, yes, even your pre-schooler’s.
- Stick to the regular routine as much as possible i.e. nap times, meal times, etc.
- Keep the little ones nourished to avoid meltdowns. We often get so caught up in what we’re doing that we overlook meals and snacks. Keep snacks healthy as the season provides lots of other opportunities for treats.
- Having out-of-town guests? Have kids decide who will have to give up their room to the guest (if you don’t have a guest room) and have the kids get the guest room ready (tidy, put out towels, strip the bed, etc.).
- Get out of the house. Go for walking tours together to see decorated houses or store fronts or take in some free events in the neighbourhood or the city.
- Gift giving: Keep it simple (tip #2, QUALITY NOT QUANTITY). Model the gift of giving to those less fortunate than us: Look online or in the local newspaper to find a charitable organization that the family decides to contribute to (Xmas hamper, food bank, toy drives etc.).
- Accept a less than perfect contribution from your pre-schooler – remember you are creating memories not competing for a spot in the Martha Stewart magazine!
- Take care of yourself! Hire a babysitter, for some downtime, even if it’s just to go to the local coffee shop, alone or with your partner.
- One last one: ENJOY and Happy Holidays!