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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

7 Family-Friendly Ways to Make the Christmas Season Calmer

christmas photo

Christmas time can be chaotic. Parties, shopping, planning, schedule changes, and much more simply add to the stress of the season. Stress isn’t all bad. Sometimes stress can be good stress. The stress of planning a holiday party can be a positive and a negative experience. The good stress is knowing that you provided your kids with a happy holiday memory, you spent time with people who you care about, and even things like you ate a delicious meal and experienced the joy of the holiday. However, the bad stress still ways on us. There is pressure and time-crunching and planning and more.

Not only are there parties to attend (and possibly host), but gift-purchasing and changes in yours and your kids’ schedules are likely other stresses, as well. I personally am working on a big Christmas gift project for my mom (shh!! I can’t say what it is yet except that it has something to do with being a Grandma.). I love crafting, but it certainly takes time, energy, and planning.

Despite the stress, negative or positive, your Christmas season can be calmer and more peaceful.

Here are 7 family-friendly ways to make the Christmas season calmer.

  1. Plan ahead: Write a list of all the tasks that need to get done prior to Christmas (or throughout the holiday season if you celebrate the holidays after Christmas day).
  2. Then, identify what should take priority and what can wait til later.
  3. Put all the tasks that you need to accomplish on your calendar. Put some thought into this when putting the tasks on your calendar. You want to be able to be pretty confident that you will actually complete the task on the day you write it down. Of course, things happen and life throws us surprises, so if you don’t happen to complete a task on the assigned day, be sure to reschedule it.
  4. Try to get the largest tasks done first. It is a good idea to try to accomplish a majority of your bigger tasks sooner rather than later. This reduces the pressure on you as Christmas gets closer and time seems to become more scarce.
  5. Focus on the positives in life. Be mindful. Be sure to let yourself stop and be in the moment frequently. Multiple times a day just take some deep breaths and look around you and identify the beauty and peace in your surroundings, in your family, in yourself.
  6. Relax. Don’t get so worried about your to-do list and schedule that you forget to relax. We all need some downtime so we don’t experience parenting burn-out. Burn-out is a common concept in the workplace, especially the human services field, because people get so overwhelmed with giving to others and working hard that they forget to balance that work with self-care. So, in regards to parenting, don’t get wrapped up in caring for others and giving to others that you forget to give to yourself.
  7. Last but not least, have reasonable expectations. Don’t expect perfection. Your house doesn’t have to be spotless for guests to come over. Your meal doesn’t have to be the best meal ever made. Your gifts don’t have to be wrapped perfectly. And you don’t need to buy your loved ones everything on their wish list. You and your family don’t have to wear the prettiest seasonal outfits. Just be you. Just have a good holiday and cherish the life you are living, the life you are making.

A bonus tip…Own less stuff…Try to purge a large amount of stuff from your home. Having less stuff in our homes (especially since Christmas tends to bring even more stuff) can reduce stress levels. So, do this by taking a trash bag (or a few trash bags) and just walk around your house filling it with trash and take another trash bag (or a few) and walk around your house filling it with things that you can donate or give away.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a happy holiday. Merry Christmas.

7 Family-Friendly Ways to Make the Christmas Season Calmer

Heather Gilmore

My name is Heather Gilmore. I am so happy to be able to have a space to share helpful insights and resources to other moms out there. Being a parent is hard work and I hope to be able to give you tips and strategies to make it at least a little bit easier and more enjoyable. We love our kids but any mom knows that they can also be exhausting and overwhelming at times, as well. I have a master's degree in social work. I work as a children's therapist. I am also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and work with children with autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, I am a freelance writer specializing in topics related to children and families. I have my own company called Hope Family Resources which provides resources in person and online to help families find greater hope, health, and happiness. See my site and learn more about me at: www.hopefamilyresources.com or email me at heather@hopefamilyresources.com. I have also published books on Amazon. Search for "Discpline and Parenting Strategies for Kids with ADHD," "Have Peace: How to Have Peace in Your Busy, Chaotic Life," and "Sibling Rivalry: How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry so You Won't Have to Anymore,"


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APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2016). 7 Family-Friendly Ways to Make the Christmas Season Calmer. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mommy-matters/2016/12/7-family-friendly-ways-to-make-the-christmas-season-calmer/

 

Last updated: 2 Dec 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.