Between Thanksgiving and Christmas things can get really busy. In the past, I have failed to plan well, and as a result, I was stressed through much of the holiday season. By the time Christmas got here I had to admit that it was not a stress-free Christmas season!
Why do I find Christmas so stressful?
I realized that trying to do too much takes a lot of the joy out of what is supposed to be a joyful season. It can also take some of the joy out of it for your family if you aren’t careful. I’m sure most of you are aware of this and have struggled with balancing things during this busy time. The KEY? Decide what is important for you and your family, and LET THE REST GO!
How can I be stress-free for Christmas?
It’s really okay to not do EVERYTHING. In fact, your kids will probably be happier with doing less and having a happy mom. The thing that helped me was recognizing what made me feel stressed.
Things like baking multiple kinds of cookies, and other goodies to give away, going in and out of stores in the cold, driving and shopping in crowds, and last-minute preparations.
For you, the list will probably look different. The important thing to consider is to not feel bound by traditions of the past if they stress you, or your circumstances are different this year, and you can’t handle them.
7 Tips To A Stress-Free Christmas Season:
1. Reduce stress by shopping online.
This may cost a bit for shipping, but saves hours of driving to stores, shopping, standing in line, etc. Decide ahead of time how much you can afford to spend on gifts, and stay in your budget. Overspending creates stress. Who knows…maybe guessing the packages as they arrive will become one of your favorite Christmas shopping traditions!
2. Managing Christmas stress for your children.
If you homeschool, put the books away a couple of weeks before Christmas. Let them make cards for people, make decorations, help with baking, and help you keep things clean. Encourage them to think of ways to bless others. Make some fun traditions.
Tips To Enjoy Christmas Without Stress
3. Get the family involved to reduce the holiday cleaning burden.
Give the kids regular cleaning jobs to get the house ready for visiting family, rather than waiting to do it all at the last minute. Delegate what you can to kids, to give you time to be able to do more of the fun family activities together.
4. Be less busy during the Christmas season.
Limit outside activities. Choose wisely – there are many choices at this time of year. More usually isn’t better.
5. Take care of yourself during the holidays.
Get enough rest, eat well and stay active without being too active. Take care of your body and your mental health. You don’t want your kids to remember a tired, crabby mom when they think of the holidays. With all of the pressure, the quick pace and even for some, the loneliness…mental health during Christmas is something we need to take seriously and be mindful of.
6. Include your kids in your favorite non-commercial Christmas traditions.
Taking the time to savor the season and remember all of your favorite Christmas memories can be a great way to minimize stress and maximize your joy this Christmas. Think of your favorite memories of Christmases’ past, and relive those traditions with your kids. These will one day be THEIR favorite memories!
7. Pick and choose your activities between Thanksgiving and New Year.
Before starting a new activity, ask yourself “Will this create a good memory for my kids, or will this be stressful, and leave unpleasant memories?” Great activities that should be fun, usually aren’t as fun when Mom is frazzled, and probably won’t make for good memories!