Instead of letting the holidays overwhelm you with shopping, baking, and decorating, try Mighty Mommy's 7 easy ways to simplify your family life and make this the merry season it should be.
With the holiday season upon us, the already demanding pace that most parents keep will be kicked up a notch or two, making it even more challenging to find quality downtime.
Ironically, many of us bring this extra hype on ourselves because we try to show our kids and loved ones the best darn holiday we can possibly pull off. Unfortunately, we often run ourselves ragged in the process.
Bah humbug to that! This year, instead of letting the holidays overwhelm you, try Mighty Mommy's 7 easy ways to simplify your family life and make this the merry season it should be.
Tip #1: Decide on a Holiday Tone
During my first decade of motherhood, I spent endless hours trying to pull off the perfect holiday for my family - all while either being pregnant or chasing around 6 of our 8 children. Sleep was non-existent in my quest to create the perfect winter wonderland. I decked our home with boughs of holly; I hung hundreds of twinkling lights and decorations; I baked cookies and gingerbread houses into the wee hours of the morning; I worked tirelessly to showcase a holiday extravaganza that always left me cranky and exhausted and that my toddlers and young children probably never even noticed.
Thankfully, I finally realized how absurd my expectations were and I changed gears dramatically. Instead of envisioning the word "perfect" for our holidays, I decided I would create a "whimsical" one instead. By deciding on a tone for your holiday, you can expend your time and energy into creating the feel that best suits your family, not one that you think you have to live up to.
Tip #2: Embrace Traditions
Family traditions can become the foundation of your holidays each year. Whether it's tagging a Christmas tree or playing the dreidel together during Hanukkah, when your kids have these special moments to look forward to every year, it shows them how important spending time together as a family is.
By focusing on your family's traditions (rather than the gifts), you can keep the meaning of the season in the forefront and teach your children to look beyond the shopping hysteria.
Tip #3: Less Is More
I can remember vividly how in my first few years as a parent I would cram as many holiday-related activities into our schedule as possible. This included visits to see Santa at the mall, local tree lightings, caroling, attending neighborhood parties, hitting all the sales - the list went on and on.
I didn't want my kids to miss one moment of all the holiday cheer. But coordinating it all nearly became a full-time job. When I realized I couldn't keep that up any longer, I cut back to only a couple of scheduled events. Ironically, everyone was happier with this less frenetic arrangement. The fewer commitments you make, the simpler your holiday will be—especially when you consider that you’re piling on activities and tasks to what’s likely an already full plate.
See also: 9 Smart Parenting Shortcuts