Well it’s no secret that we are in the thrush of the holidays. Traffic is pretty much out of control, parking is pretty much nonexistent, and people’s attitudes have gone from mad to jolly for the most part. If you have kids you already know that they are the most excited.
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas and instead elect to some other form of holiday ritual keep in mind that little people aka children are going to be the ones to try to rear in. Some people use elf on the shelf. I’ve never had one growing up because my parents were the type that spoke and we listened. We didn’t need an elf to watch our behavior. However I have 3 children who have friends who have them and now they want one. I have been pretty lazy in getting one. I have just told them the same thing my parents told us you better listen or no Christmas for you. Now if I can get an elf on a shelf like if I run into one I’ll grab it but with all of the stuff I like to do it may not happen. I may grab one end of season for next year.
To those who have elected to tell your children that there is no Santa I say kudos to you. For others who want their kid to have that knowledge of a Santa let folks live. There are many theories about what kids should or shouldn’t know and my theory is that parenting is personal. So whatever works for you that isn’t abusing or withholding life’s necessities works for me.
I for one have a cute countdown chalk board that I use to keep the kids’ focus. It helps them to visually see how many more days they have. Like most folks we get them gifts but we also have certain traditions that we do every year. Starting with movie nights, Christmas pjs worn on Christmas eve, cookie baking, and gingerbread house decorating. As much as kids love to open things they also love to do things. I’m a firm believer that kids should be gifted with experiences. I had a friend tell me that my kids do a lot and they do. I make it my mission to create memories.
Whatever you as a parent chooses to share with your children is your decision. If it’s an elf then let it be an elf. I actually love seeing what the parents have been doing with the elf. If you haven’t seen it use hashtag elf on the shelf (#elfontheshelf) on social media. I’m telling you its hilarious stuff.
Here are my tips to having a kid stress less holiday:
Yes you will need to set your week up. If you’re into crafts make sure you have your crafts ready. If you’re able to write your week schedule and post it. Kids love to feel like they have a schedule. This works even if you are working full-time. You can always post a weekend schedule with what you will do.
Get in the spirit
It will help you to be in the spirit. Yes it should go without saying but while the kids are playing bills, stress, with lack of time and sleep can make parents in a blah mode. So make sure that you get whatever you need to put you in the right mind. Cranky parents don’t help to calm edgy children. So do your best to keep in mind that your kids excitement is extra so be a little extra to get in the fun.
Make it fun
Although you need to be organized and in spirit, fun is always the name of the game. I actually try to make sure that I keep myself child like to get through. My kids always want to do anything hands on so I let them help in the kitchen a little more. I also make holiday themed breakfasts, and we have a winter party. So yeah you can do it too just think about what you did as child and duplicate it. When I tell my kids mommy or daddy watched this or did this, it makes it that much easier for them to participate.
Bigger isn’t always better
Say what? Yes unless you have teenagers little kids love more. So we always have one key item per child. Like one key item and then gift little things. As much as you want to go big or go home, kids love the thought of many gifts. With that in mind Five Below or stores of that nature should be your friend. Yes my tree always look like I have a million kids but I don’t. Stick to a number. We are working on 5 this year. We got one key item and 4 little gifts such as a doll or favorite truck. Then they get stocking stuffers and 1 or 2 family board games we can all play. Stress free and easy. My children have 2 sides of the family that get them things I don’t need to go all out.
Lastly remember the reason for the season and what the season means to you and your family. We make it our mission to have the kids give back. They are 6, 4, and 1 years old but best believe giving to others is what we stress. My daughter who is the 6 years old raised candy to give to other kids who don’t get during the holidays. Something small right but can be a huge impact. We also donate by me stepping back and them pick out what they are giving.
Have a happy holiday and have fun with the kidlets.