The holiday season is here! Many families are buying presents, putting up holiday decorations, and snuggling by the fire, but there is no doubt that all these wonderful festive things may come to stress. Parents are usually spending quite a bit more money around this time of year with the gifts, volunteering, and hosting holiday parties; it can be very overwhelming. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend around $1,000 more during the holiday season due to factors such as gifts, travel, food, etc.
So although the season brings so much joy to each family with young children, it can also bring a ton of stress. With all the holidays happening during this season, such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Festivus, or New Year’s, we are here with helpful tips to get you through the celebrations with your family without the added stress.
Set Priorities. Define your family’s wants and priorities for the holiday season. People-pleasing and over-scheduling can become so stressful that we do not enjoy the many planned activities. Creating a less chaotic holiday season, in the end, is your choice. Create a holiday bucket list with your family, decide what activities are most important, and do not be afraid to say no to everything else! This allows you to value your time, space, and energy to do what matters most to you and your family so that you can enjoy it!
Create a Budget. With the amount of money spent per household mentioned before, it is no surprise one of the main stresses during the holiday season is money! Families find themselves trapped in a cycle of over-spending and start the new year with debt, but it does not have to be that way! Make a list of who you would like to buy gifts for and how much you want to spend on each person, then total up the list and make adjustments. Please take advantage of sales, and make cuts on the gift list until it is within budget.
Prepare Your Kids for the Season. The holiday season can be an emotional roller coaster with the excitement about presents and vacations, but it can also stir up anxiousness being around large crowds, traveling, or more. Create a family calendar to help your family adjust to the changing schedule. For kids especially, they will feel more comfortable when they can see upcoming changes to their schedule.
Treat Yourself. As a parent, it is hard not to want perfection when it comes to the house, kids, food, pets, etc., all themed, cleaned, and poised during the holiday season, but let’s face it. There is no such thing as perfection. Set reasonable expectations and make sure you are taking good care of yourself during the holidays by eating healthily and getting enough sleep.
If you are stuck with chores or wrapping gifts, create a comfortable atmosphere for yourself by lighting candles, listening to your favorite holiday music, or sitting by a fireplace. Take moments to relax and enjoy each moment.
Be Kind. For many, the holidays are not a time to celebrate but a time of loneliness, missing relatives, and grief. If that describes you this year, it is okay. Be kind to yourself. Seek help needed so you can take this time to heal. Purchase books on how to help your kids face any feelings of grief or loss that they are experiencing during this time, or reach out to people around you for connection.
Give Back. A ton of families love getting children involved with helping others in need during the holiday season. There are many opportunities to teach your kids gratefulness and how wonderful it can feel to help others. Volunteering to help the less fortunate with your children will help your family experience the holiday season’s true joy and meaning.
The holiday season is all about what you and your family make of it. Even though it can get stressful and expensive, following these helpful tips we suggest can help make your family’s experience more memorable and less stressful.