As we begin to plan Thanksgiving get togethers and where we’re traveling for Christmas or Hanukkah, oh and don’t forget New Year’s Eve, the anxiety sets in. How in the world am I supposed to travel with all that STUFF for the kids and somehow still enjoy the holiday season?! Let’s not forget if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, there will be presents coming back with you, so you’ll be bringing back more than you take! Everyone wants to enjoy cookie baking, snowman building, Black Friday shopping, and everything in between, without the added stress. In order to help you achieve this, we wanted to help you think of ways to help alleviate stress during this holiday season.
Let’s Hack the Holidays, Mom Version!
- Buy the tubes or containers of cookie dough: You can jazz up the chocolate chip cookies with some holiday colored M&Ms or add some sugar and the chocolate kisses in the middle of your premade peanut butter dough. No one has ever questioned me if they’re homemade, which technically you still baked them! So unless you have a signature cookie, save yourself some stress and buy the dough.
- Give the gift cards: Do not feel bad for buying gift cards, especially for older kids. Remember, they can pick out exactly what they want and they don’t have the pain of paying for it. If you have fully grown children, gas gift cards are always a hit. Nothing sucks the joy out of the holidays like spending so much money on gas to travel to and from all the family events.
- Make your own wrapping paper: (It’s not as complicated as it seems, keep reading). Did you run out of wrapping paper halfway through?! If your kids have an art easel with the large pieces of paper, have them color on those and use that as wrapping paper. No one has to know you ran out. Instead, it is now a unique piece of artwork from your child as well!
- Stick to the nap schedule, if that works for you: If your little one needs to stick to his/her nap schedule, don’t feel bad coming late to an event. When traveling, aim to travel during nap times. You and your little ones will all have a better time if everyone is in a good mood. Note: You can also take a nap during your little ones’ nap if you need that extra recharge!
- Use totes or an organization system: Label those totes and put whatever you need to in them. Each child has their own tote, unwrapped presents or wrapped presents, into the tote. Non perishables you are taking to an event, into the tote. Decorations, labeled and into the tote. Help keep yourself (and significant others) organized with your totes.
- Make a live document, a Google doc, or note in your phone: Use this to take note of what you did, what you liked or didn’t like, what went well or something you’d change for next year. You may not be able to change it in the present year, but it will be helpful to know for the next year.
- Ask for help during the holidays: Moms are Super Moms, there‘s no doubt with all we do, from the holiday parties at school to the family gatherings, wrapping presents, preparing big holiday meals, the baking, and beyond. Don’t turn away help. If someone is asking what they should do after your holiday dinner, ask them to help put away the leftovers or wash some dishes. Maybe some family is staying with you, have them strip the bed sheets before they go, or even start the laundry for the towels they used. Don’t feel like you need to do it all. When there are so many people around and they offer to help, TAKE IT!
My best piece of advice for the holiday season is…
After the holiday season, take a day off. Make sure the kids are back at school or get a sitter for half the day and get a massage and lunch with yourself or maybe take a nap. You survived the holiday season. You deserve every minute of that day off and there’s nothing that needs to be done but recharging your battery and filling your cup.
No matter how your holiday season goes, remember you are the best mom you can be for your child or children and you are making wonderful memories with them! Give yourself grace and soak in all the moments with your loved ones. Happy Holiday Season!
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