We know the holidays can be FULL – full of activities, full of emotions, full of expectations, but also FULL of MAGIC AND MEMORIES. Here are some tips to remind us all how to focus on what matters most (plus parent pro tips!).
1. Planning to be out past (or near) bedtime? Pack pajamas and a toothbrush/toothpaste for your outing, and get your kids ready for bed *before* you get in the car to head back home. This can minimize those meltdowns when you walk in the door and help you get your tired little ones straight into bed.
2. If Santa is your thing, take your kids to visit him or send him a letter as early in the season as possible. There’s no surprise quite as stressful as realizing your child *now* wants the new Barbie Cutie Reveal doll on Christmas Eve… sending you scrambling to Target on Christmas Eve to save Santa’s reputation. Get those babies to Santa early in December and save yourself the stress of a last-minute swap.
3. Purchase a few extra gifts that you can have on hand ‘just in case.’ Your schedule is already full enough during this season, and hauling your [hungry] kids into a store on the way to an event is just a recipe for a meltdown.
4. Schedule down time. It’s easy to pack every single day and night with extra special holiday activities, but everyone enjoys an outing more when they’re well-rested. Plan days where your entire agenda is ‘chill.’ If you can’t resist the urge to plan something holiday-themed, schedule a day filled with pajamas, Christmas movies, low expectations, and long naps.
5. Don’t give in to the pressure to create a picture-perfect holiday season. Soak in the simple joys through your kids’ eyes, and remember that the special moments of the season are more about the people you’re with than the money you spend. Your kids will never remember if the cookies you iced together were made from scratch or break-and-bakes. Lower the bar, and do the things that are most special to you and your family. Let go of the rest :)