8 Ways to Keep Your Family Stress-Free this Holiday Season

The holiday season is meant to be an exciting time, but let’s face it, more often than not it’s just a lot of added stress that keeps us feeling anything but jolly. Mighty Mommy has 8 tips to help you manage your holiday list without losing the real meaning of the season.

Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #260

Tip #4: Schedule a Holiday Time Out

During the busy holiday season, I like to schedule a holiday “time out” for my family.  I plan at least one Sunday afternoon when we can unwind as a family and enjoy the season instead of letting it drag us down. 

If you can’t devote an entire afternoon for a holiday “time out” then head outdoors for a refreshing change of scenery. 

For instance, last year we spent an afternoon at an outdoor ice skating rink and then went out to our favorite burger place for dinner.  If you can’t devote an entire afternoon for a holiday “time out” then head outdoors for a refreshing change of scenery. Bundle up and walk the dog together during a snowfall, or take a starlit nighttime stroll through your neighborhood to view the holiday lights.  Whatever you decide, devote this time to recharging your family’s holiday batteries.

Tip #5: Some Assembly Required

If there’s one thing Mighty Mommy has learned throughout my 20 years of parenting it's to leave assembly of items like bicycles or large doll houses and such to the experts. Allow a store’s staff to put together the “some assembly required” gifts you’ve purchased, even if you must pay a fee. It will not only save you lots of precious time, but it could save your sanity as well!

Tip #6: Maintain Daily Rituals

Most of us try to squeeze an extra hour or two out of our days throughout the year, but when holiday time is in full swing, we try and double that. That's a recipe for burnout.

Instead, be sure to hold onto your daily rituals during this busy time of year. If you like to read for half an hour before bed, or go to the gym right before dinner, don’t give it up in favor of yet another holiday chore. Our everyday practices help calm and center us and this sets a good example for our children.  

See also: 5 Ways Selfish Parenting Can Benefit Your Family


Tip #7: Record What Worked

Even before I had 8 kids, I have always been a list person.  Not only do I thrive by keeping a “to do” list on hand at all times, I also find it helpful to record any tips and tricks that went over especially well for big events like birthday parties, traveling for vacation, and even celebrating the holidays. 

Try keeping a notebook from year to year, detailing your own secrets for a sacred, successful, and stress-free celebration.  Not only will this be helpful, but you may find it quite entertaining as well when you re-read it throughout the years.

Tip #8: Don’t Forget to Have Fun

The holiday season is supposed to evoke magical, special moments that we create with our family and loved ones. But that is often neglected or forgotten as we run around shopping, wrapping, organizing.

So my last piece of advice is to try to keep a lighthearted approach when trimming the tree, baking cookies, hitting the busy mall, or even wrapping those dozens of presents you spent hours shopping for.  Remember to have fun and savor the time you do get to spend with your kids and family instead of looking at some of these tasks as chores.  

See also: How to Make the Holidays More Exciting


How do you eliminate some of the stress that comes along with the holidays?  Share your thoughts in the comment section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or e-mail me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.  Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.

Managing the holidays can be overwhelming. But if you stay organized, and remember what the season is all about, you can relieve some of that holiday stress and really enjoy this time of year.  Until next time--Happy Parenting!


About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.