Merry Christmas! Today many of us gather with family and friends to celebrate Christmas. Your children may have woken you up very early, or maybe everyone slept in and you had a leisurely morning. You might be enjoying a white Christmas, or the temperature where you live might be balmy enough that you can wear shorts outside.
Christmas is a magical time, but it can also be stressful. For today, don’t get frustrated with your little ones when their early morning excitement causes them to crash and burn this afternoon. Lay down with them and help them settle down for their naps. Try not to get pulled into family drama, and wish strangers that you run into a happy holiday. Create new traditions and follow old ones, but don’t be discouraged when things don’t turn out exactly as planned. Remember that your children will remember the Christmases of their youth as they head into adulthood, and will look back on them for guidance on how to spend the holidays with their own children. Just relax and focus on the joy of the season! If you feel yourself getting stressed out, here are a few ways to reduce your blood pressure and bring your attention back to the specialness of the day:
- Have a Christmas movie or two on standby for antsy little (or big) ones. If you’re waiting on guests to arrive, the kids might get restless. Characters like Rudolph, Charlie Brown or the Grinch can get occupy everyone for a short time during the waiting times.
- Plan on little tummies getting hungry before scheduled mealtimes, particularly if you eat Christmas dinner in the middle of the afternoon. If they’re used to eating at noon, they’ll get cranky with no food. Provide a veggie tray, cheese and crackers, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks or other finger foods that can take the edge off.
- Get the kids outside playing if it’s not too cold and wet out. Particularly if you’re visiting others, too many people in one house can make them hot and whiny. Let them run around outside, with cousins if available!
- Practice ahead of time what they can say if a gift isn’t what they were hoping for. When my son was about three, he received an outfit from a great-aunt. He promptly threw his arms up and said, “More clothes?” with a loud sigh. While Auntie found it funny, some relatives may not, so prep your kids ahead of time that if they don’t like a gift, they can just smile and say thank you.
- With that said, expect some type of meltdown, tears, tantrum or whining. It’s a busy day, and kids get overtired, just like they might on any other day of the year. If they’re little enough, distract them and move on. If they’re older, they might need some quiet time away from everyone else for a few minutes to regroup.
We at ShopaholicMommy wish you a very merry Christmas, and hope that you have a magical, wonderful and stress-free day!