Parents' Plan for Stress-Free Holidays
December 01 2021
Now is the time to begin your plan to have a peaceful holiday season this year. You can’t change the fact that children and parents will have spells of anxiety, fatigue, irritability, depression, conflict, worry, nagging and overindulgence during the holiday weeks. But you can do a lot to minimize them and you can begin today.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Buy an inexpensive, small notebook. Not too small but you want to be able to keep it with you conveniently. This is your holiday planning book. Record notes to yourself, things to do, gift ideas and final lists, Christmas card lists, decorating ideas, recipes, grocery shopping lists, party planning lists, store phone numbers, babysitters’ phone numbers. Any information that will help you get your holiday chores done should be in that book so that you can refer to it any time you have a chance (while waiting to pick up your child, in the doctor’s waiting room, on your coffee break, in your bed at night).
- Strategize with your spouse. Discuss what makes you happy during the holidays and really listen to what your spouse says makes him/her happy during the holidays. Prioritize your families’ Holiday activities based on this discussion. If you both love going to Holiday parties, then by all means go! If both of you dislike those parties but have always gone because you felt you had to, then don’t be afraid to turn down some invitations. Instead, you could have a dress up evening for your family to go out to dinner at a really special restaurant then go to a play or musical performance. You won’t feel guilty about refusing an adult party invitation if you have plans for a special evening out with your entire family. Everyone dress in their nicest clothes. It’s your only hope for having your children on their best behavior so that you can really enjoy the evening.
- Get a nice calendar to schedule Holiday commitments and events you would like to attend if you can. Involve the whole family in planning these activities based on the one-to-one decisions you and your spouse made previously.
- Shop online or from catalogs. You will find the most unique gifts this way and you can also get some deals this time of year that take off the shipping charge or give you bonus merchandise. It really is much less stressful to shop from your living room than to exhaust yourself at the mall during the Christmas season. Do your mall shopping early, to get a relaxed view of all the new merchandise. I like to go to the mall right before rush hour on weekdays. Very few people are shopping and you get such a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you are not out there in all that rush-hour traffic.
- Schedule some activities to nourish your spirit. Church services, musical performances and plays are a few that come to mind that will leave you feeling refreshed and rested rather than frazzled and exhausted. Your children might rather go to the latest blockbuster at the mall than to an afternoon choral concert but you know that the concert will nourish their spirit and help them relax much more than the movie will.
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