8 Ways to Keep the Family Connected During the Holiday Season

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We pull them here. We take them there. We ask them to shake hands, make conversation and be on their best behavior.

For many kids, the holiday season is very stressful. Their routine is upset and it can turn a kid’s world upside down.  While we are taking them out and asking them to do their best they may be somersaulting internally.

So how can parents enjoy the holiday hoopla while keeping the kids content?

  1. Open a Book – Wrap a holiday or favorite book (old or new) for every day from December 1 – December 31. Each day a child chooses a book for the family to read together at a designated time. Traveling… bring the books with and keep the routine going.
  2. Let them wear comfortable clothes. Yes, the frilly dresses and ties look cute but it’s hard to feel at ease when you are in stiff clothes.
  3. Bring along some of their favorite snacks. Not every kid likes lutefisk and lefse and when you are hungry it is hard to be on your best behavior.
  4. Try to maintain a consistent bedtime. If you know it’s going to be a late night it might be a good time to call a babysitter.
  5. Keep it simple. Many kids are overwhelmed by all of the gifts and expectations of the holiday season.
  6.  Bake cookies together. Baking can be a great learning experience and a fun way to connect.
  7. Have a family movie night. For ideas of fun family movies check out this list.
  8. Try to remember the things you enjoyed as a kid about the holiday season and share them with your kids.

 

Keeping Your Sanity or Keeping Up with the Joneses

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I just love to buy things and give to my kids. That being said I struggle with Christmas.

Growing up I remember piles upon piles of gifts for my sister and I under the tree each year. When I was an adult I found out that my parents spent money they didn’t have each year to give us everything we wanted.

I want to give my kids everything. I want them to have the latest technology like all of their friends. I want them to wear the $200 boots and feel like they fit in.

Even if i could afford it I’ve learned that they shouldn’t have it all.

WHAT! Shouldn’t I want everything for my kids?

Yes. But I would rather they appreciate the few gifts they receive each year.

The last couple of year we instituted a new gift giving practice at our house:

1 thing the WANT

1 thing they NEED

1 thing to WEAR

1 thing to READ

This has helped me hone in on what is important to my kids. They value the gifts they receive more. Yes, I could still buy them that new technology but they would know not to expect much else.

They may not wake up Christmas morning with piles upon piles of gifts under the tree but I am not going into debt every Christmas for tons of gifts they will discard within six months.

And hopefully, whether they realize it or not, they are learning to appreciate the things around them more.