By Angela Kidd
Little children do bring the joy, magic and wonder of the holidays. But let’s face it – they also make the season a little more complicated. They have high expectations of the holiday, mostly because of us, the parents. It’s important to teach them what Christmas is all about. Most importantly, it’s important to enjoy the holiday as a family, including yourself – so here are sanity-saving parenting tips for Christmas.
Don’t do it all
As parents, there is this pressure to make Christmas as magical as possible for our children. We want to do it all – buying and wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, pretending to be Santa, stuffing stockings with presents, watching Christmas movies, shopping for matching sweaters, taking holiday family photos, singing carols, hosting dinner… the list goes on! Soon, the magic and joy turns to exhaustion, for the whole family.
You don’t have to do them all – just choose a few activities or traditions to stick to every year and make the most out of them. Do the ones that mean the most to your family and ones that the little ones enjoy doing the most.
Limit the gift-giving
To save yourself from some holiday stress and extra expenses, give your kids just one present each. Once they let you know the gift they want most, do your shopping and don’t buy some more. Little gifts can quickly pile up into a huge amount, and you know deep down that your kids don’t need all those new toys.
If you must buy more than 1 gift, follow the 4 gift rule – 1 gift they want, 1 gift they need, 1 gift to wear and 1 gift to read.
Busy? Prepare some fun activities for the kids
The festive season is definitely busy season. To finish all that you need to do, it’s important that the little ones are busy, too! Prepare some fun and engaging holiday-themed activities that your children can do independently so that you have time to wrap those presents, bake some cookies, or simply breathe.
A holiday-themed coloring book, red and green clay (with Christmas shapers) or DIY arts and crafts are all good places to start.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself, too. It’s important that you’re enjoying the season as well – everybody knows that when kids see you happy, they’re happy, too! Happy holidays!