Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we are in full-on holiday season mode. While some may love this season, others may be feeling a bit overwhelmed – especially with young children around. Kids bring a special excitement and joy to the holiday season, but they can also bring exhaustion and stress. In a world of Pinterest recipes and decorations, it is easy to feel like your best isn’t good enough. But trust me, whatever you do, you are creating life-long memories and experiences your kids will not only remember for life, but carry on to their own families one day.
Now, about those stresses. Kids get sooo excited, like bat-**** excited, about Christmas. You can only threaten to call Santa so many times before you lose your mind. Their excitement spills over into everything they do and it can sometimes be too much for a Winey Parent. Their constant pleas for that toy or that gadget can drive you nuts. Manners fly out the window and whiney creatures take the place of your once adorable, mostly well-behaved children.
If your kids are anything like mine, when they get excited they truly cannot help themselves. Their impulse control vanishes and their ability to cope with everyday problems dissolves. “Go play in the playroom” turns into 5 seconds of play, followed by, “He threw something at me” or “I want that! She took it from me.”
Holiday Coping Mechanisms
So, here are some ways we cope with the added stresses of the holiday season.
- Give them the actual words they need to problem solve. (Example: “I don’t like when you [fill in the blank], please stop.”)
- Call them out on their behavior. (“Now you are just doing it on purpose to upset your brother.”)
- Separate them to their own rooms if you have that as an option. Sometimes all they need is some space to settle back down.
- Put on some Christmas music. That might seem like it would have the opposite effect for calming the holiday excitement, but it allows them to be excited about the holidays in a focused way. Our kids will sing and dance along to the music, and then we can relax for a few minutes.
- Holiday crafts. We recently moved the craft table to the kids’ playroom in an attempt to take back the “adult space” our living room was supposed to offer us. They can head down there and color ‘til their hearts content. We have also done some family crafts together-a la Pinterest, but I promise, they are super easy, low mess, and produce some cute keepsake crafts.
- Holiday movies. Just like the music, the movie buys you even more time, while still letting your kids enjoy the holiday season.
- Decorate the tree together. Okay, so this option is a one and done solution, but those 10 minutes it takes your kids to lump all the ornaments together at the bottom of the tree, are really special.
- When all else fails, WINE. And to make it more festive, check out our DIY Wine Advent Calendar. See? You’re already in the Christmas spirit with that little project!
The Winey Grinch
Now this post probably makes me seem like a Grinch, and honestly, sometimes I feel like a Grinch. When the excitement and stress overwhelm me, the holiday music, movies, and crafts do buy myself some downtime. It really does help me relax, while also providing the kids with the holiday excitement they crave.
What ways do you deal with the stresses that can come with the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments below! You can also head over to our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – and let us know any secrets to your holiday success.