Five Tips Friday: Having stress-free Holidays with kids

Holidays are only really fun when you are kid, or single. Once you are in charge of planning the holidays, it gets a little crazy. Suddenly, the weight of everything that needs to be done comes heavily on your shoulders. And then there are the expectations of making everything perfect, and those expectations grow exponentially every year.

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, or Diwali, festivals with kids can be a bit of a strain on mental faculties.

Here are my tips for making festive holidays with the family a little smoother:

Five tips for a stress-free Holiday with kids

1. Plan everything in advance

Have your festive days planned down to as many details as you can. Plan the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in advance. Freeze and store what you can, because you will be busy on the big day. Schedule who you will be visiting and when. Write it down so you at least have a broad game plan. It will reduce your holiday stress quite a bit!

2. Keep gift expectations clear

All holidays involve some kind of gift giving and receiving, and it's a good thing. But don't let gifts rule the holiday. Consider cutting down the number of gifts, and making each gift thoughtful and special. If you can't give a particular gift to your child or another child who's expecting it from you, talk to them about why Santa (or you, depending on your tradition) can't bring them everything they want. This will reduce disappointments. The last thing you want during  a festival is a sulking child! Even with older kids and your spouse, if they ask you what you want, just tell them, and ask them likewise. Or drop the right hints, so you aren't standing the exchange counter the next day!

3. Get some sleep

It's important for children to be rested, and for you too. If you plan in advance, there shouldn't be a need to stay up the night before! Try to schedule your children's naps on the day, even if during travel time. If naps really have to be skipped, plan for some quiet time activity for the kids to relax them a bit.

4. Spend time as a family

While meeting friends and extended family is a part of holiday tradition, try to make a little time just for the family to talk and spend together. You could do it at the beginning or end of the day. You could also start a new tradition just for your family.

5. Watch the sugar intake

Undoubtedly, there is an overload of desserts during festive meals. Give your children healthy snacks during the day, so they don't gorge on sweets and candy whenever they get the chance. Any sensible parent knows what a deadly mix too many sweets and children are!

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Ayesha Siddiqua said...

Those are awesome tips! I agree, the expectations on gifts are always so high. Talking before hand is a good idea.

Tarana said...

Glad you agree! Gift giving can get a little out of hand sometimes.

Carla said...

These are great tips! I love the reminder to sleep--tired kids get grumpy so quickly! :)

Louise George said...

Fab tips - trying to make sure sleep gets slotted in is very important and planning ahead is always a good idea. Thank you for sharing

Edna Williams said...

Tips are great! Thanks for sharing!

Chris Carter said...

Gosh- I need to sleep and spend more time soaking in the season... praying for that time. These are great tips Tarana!

Mike said...

These are all such great suggestions and isn't amazing that something as simple as keeping the kids sugar intake down to a low roar can make a world of difference, Tarana! :)

Tarana said...

Oh yes, they've got to keep the sugar levels down!

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

This is the first year that my son really "gets" that Christmas is coming and I really appreciate these tips. We've had to pull out the calendar so many times to explain that he has to wait to open gifts. An advent calendar helped but sheesh! I love the suggestion of spending time with family because it really does help to just do things alone - we went to a light show last night and it was brilliant! (and a distraction from "when can I open my gifts?"

Tarana said...

I hope he has a wonderful Christmas, and I don't blame him for wanting to open the gifts!

There's Just One Mommy said...

Some great tips for this season!

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