Schedules during the Christmas season can be so busy!! It always amazes me how we can go here and there and never be caught up with our to do lists. Many of us have birthdays thrown into the mix as well. My daughter was due on Christmas day, but she arrived 4 days early, so we’re always celebrating a birthday at least a few days before Christmas, not to mention the purchasing of gifts for that special occasion, too. It seems that the rest of the family has decided to have their babies close to Christmas, too, so we always get to attend several birthday parties during that time.
How do we maintain our busy Christmas schedules and remain sane throughout the holiday season?
Well, there’s a few different ways. Some may work for you, others won’t. Take what works for you and leave the rest. It’s what we moms do.
• You Can’t Stay This Busy!!
OK, I know some of you who are reading this actually can, but for the rest of us, it’s time to be picky. I mean, really, really picky! What can you eliminate? Do you really have to go to every Christmas party, birthday party, etc.? Pick and choose and don’t worry about offending others. I know, that’s easier said than done, but, ask yourself how this will benefit your family. Is it a must-do? Or will no one be too affected if you don’t attend? Some years, our family attends our Karate studio’s annual Christmas party and other years, it just sounds too stressful to have to go out and buy $5 gifts for the kids to exchange and have another dish to prepare, so we choose not to go. Yes, my kids are usually disappointed about it, if they know about it, but they’re resilient and I promise they’re not scarred for life! I don’t know about your kids, but my kids will go to anything that has food and gifts involved. No parenting out of guilt allowed!
• Make New Traditions
Sometimes the things that we’re committed to doing are based on traditions. Traditions are great! But, sometimes, our life changes just enough to where it’s time to make some tradition tweaks! Are you holding onto a tradition from your childhood? You can add a new tradition in, that makes life a little easier. OR, you can remove an old tradition that makes life stressful. Evaluate your traditions and decide if they all need to stay or not.
• Don’t Travel
Are you expected to travel to another relative’s home each year? Maybe this is the year to stay home as a family. Once again, evaluate what is best for your family. Will you benefit more from going? Or more from staying home? There is no answer that is right for every family out there. You’re the only one who can know what is best for your own family.
• Plan Ahead
Start early and get things done quickly. You could try using a Christmas planner like the one that List PlanIt offers. Wrap early. Shop Early. The more you get done earlier, the more you can sit back and enjoy all that the season has to offer!
• Get the Kids Involved
Sit down and ask them what is most important to them. Do they really want to do everything that is on your schedule? Or are they just going along because that’s what has always been done? Let them help make the decisions on what events you’ll attend as a family and what you’ll be doing throughout the month.
• Don’t Be the Yes Mom (not all the time anyway)
It’s easy to get sucked into volunteering for this and that, because after all, Christmas is about giving, right? Be sure you are able to pour into your family enough, before you go volunteering for this ministry and that event.
• Space Out Your Commitments
Is it really necessary to attend a different event for 3 days in a row? I know, sometimes you have no control over this, but if you can space them a little, that makes your life easier, as you’ll have some down time!
• Don’t Be Afraid to Say No to Pushy Relatives & Friends
Those that are closest to us are often the pushiest, aren’t they? If you know that your family would do better by staying home this year, rather than traveling on Christmas morning, then tell them that. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want to see them. You can find a day that works for everyone. If they don’t like your new ideas, it’s OK. Don’t let them get under your skin. Ignore the way they’re treating you. They don’t know what’s best for you. You do. Remember to remind them how important they are to you and to be polite.
So what do you think? Is this something you struggle with? Do you already use some of these tips? What else works for you?
Don’t forget you can still buy the 25 Days of Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids for only $3.97!!