Christmas can be a time of “fun” hustle and bustle or “stressful” hustle and bustle. It can be a time of connection and wonderful memories or frustration and missed opportunities. Which will you be creating this year? Wouldn’t a stress-free Christmas be awesome?
I love simple and practical ideas! So, here are 3 tips for a stress-free Christmas:
Tip #1 – Get your shopping and wrapping done early. I know you’ve heard this before. It really works! Make your list and plan your shopping so you are done at least one full week prior to Christmas. Then enjoy the “season” and fun times. It’s great to look at presents under the tree for several days instead of only a few hours, isn’t it? A lot of the stress comes from not feeling prepared, putting things off or not having enough time (or money) to get everything done. Plan ahead. Start today.
Tip #2 – Only say “yes” to those things that are important and cannot wait until after Christmas. If you do everything you would normally do and then add Christmas planning, shopping, wrapping, cooking, socializing … it takes all of the fun out of it. To make Christmas special, you need to treat it as such. Make time to enjoy it. Move some items off your plate to make room for a relaxed and enjoyable holiday season. You can always pick those things up again next month. Magical moments are available, but you have to be there to experience them.
Tip #3 – Wish Lists. Christmas doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and it doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Have everyone in the family make a Wish List. Choose your gifts from those lists. The gifts are still a surprise because no one knows which gift(s) they will be getting and from whom. Make sure there are both lower and higher end items on the lists and put a dollar cap on it, if you need/want to. Include little things like favorite snacks, hair clips, note pads, mini cars, games, etc. And, make sure mom and dad have lists too!
Christmas can be practical and magical. The magic is in the thoughtfulness, the lights and colorful wrapping and the love shared. The practical is in the care you take to remember the little things your loved ones enjoy. Make it meaningful instead of elaborate. Make it quality instead of quantity. And a key component is deciding what your Christmas will look like as a family. Ask your children what their most important parts of Christmas are … and be sure to incorporate those. Let them know what’s important to you so they can appreciate incorporating that as well. Use this time as an opportunity to bond and grow in your parent-child relationship. A stress-free Christmas is possible!
Have a Merry Christmas and a Magical Holiday Season!
Traci L. Williams is known for her practical and intuitive parenting style. She can be reached at email@example.com. www.alovingway.com