Wondering how you can enjoy the holidays with young children? It may seem challenging, but there are ways to do it without feeling stressed out.
Guest Post by Aileen of Aileen Cooks
Enjoying the holidays with young children can be a challenge. The holidays are a magical time – full of wonder and merriment. They can also be overwhelming for families with young children.
There are many ways to enjoy the holidays with your little ones, without feeling stressed out.
Lower your expectations
Holiday events are not going to be perfect and that’s OK. Your child may get tired or hungry and need to leave or take a break from the festivities.
If you lower your expectations of the perfect day and instead anticipate that there may still be tears and tantrums, like every other day – it will be easier to handle.
This does not mean they aren’t having a good time, but there may be some bumps in the road. If you know this going into the holiday season, you can allow yourself to enjoy the happy moments.
Less is more with small children. They are not going to be up for three holiday parties, a visit with Santa, and a midnight service. Pick and choose what is most important to you and focus on making those events special. Spread things out so you are not doing more than one thing in a day.
Little ones tend to get overstimulated and they may need a break in the afternoon if their morning was jam-packed with activity.
Make it Fun
Plan on incorporating kid-friendly activities throughout the holiday season.
If you are shopping all day, end the day with a holiday movie and hot cocoa. Have a technology-free day and spend it in your pajamas decorating cookies or making white chocolate bark. Plan on stopping at a playground before or after the holiday service so they can burn some energy.
Start New Traditions and Accept the Imperfections
Family traditions are a wonderful thing and it’s a lot of fun to create new traditions with your children in mind.
There are so many ways to incorporate family traditions into the holiday season. Thankful trees, family movie nights, volunteering, decorating the Christmas tree, and caroling are all wonderful traditions.
Keep in mind that your little one may fall asleep half-way through the movie or may not understand the concept of the thankful tree, at first. That’s OK! Imperfections are a part of life and it doesn’t mean your family won’t cherish those moments.
Most importantly, enjoy it! Watch the magic unfold through your child’s eyes. Remember what it was like to be little and all of the excitement you felt. Your children are feeling that, too.
If your little one is still a baby, enjoy introducing them to all of the magic for the first time. Dress them up and take pictures. It doesn’t matter that they won’t remember – these experiences are for you, too.