Is holiday planning stressing you out? Here are 5 tips for less-stress holiday planning for parents:
Be honest with yourself. Look at yourself honestly and determine your capabilities and resources, and how much can you take on. Be honest with yourself that you can't possibly do it all. Start prioritizing your list of "shoulds" and "to dos." And don't be afraid to ask for help. Are you an expert seamstress that can make a holiday pageant costume or just a hobby sewer who might find it too challenging? Perhaps delegating to someone who has the ability will give you the time to do something else on your list that is better suited for your time and skills. Don't be overly ambitious when it comes to holiday planning.
Have real expectations. Happy parents set realistic expectations when holiday planning. Unhappy parents have untenable ones. The goal is to align your expectations with your reality. If we expect to make dinner seven nights a week, if we expect to home-bake the cookies, if we expect to never need time for ourselves, if we expect to be happy every single day, we will set ourselves up for failure. When you have realistic expectations of what you can achieve during the holiday season, you're more likely to accomplish them and feel good about it.
Is it really feasible to expect to cook a holiday dinner for a dozen guests when you've just had a baby? It's OK to say "no" or scale back your plans to a realistic level. A potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish may fit in better with your lifestyle and gives everyone a chance to participate.
Make peace with your choices when holiday planning. Let go of the pressure to do it all perfectly. Sometimes, it's OK for things to be "good enough." Use your core principles and values to drive your choices and make sure those choices are based on what you really want, not what is expected of you. Make a rule to not second-guess yourself.
Did you decide to stay home with your family this holiday rather than travel to the grandparents' house? If it is better for you to stay home, save money and enjoy the holidays with your children, then know that you have made the right choice. Overextending yourself to please the others is not going to make your holiday more enjoyable or less stressful.
Let go of guilt when holiday planning. Take a look at your priorities and make sure you are focusing on the big issues, not fixating on the small stuff that can make you crazy. If you are feeling guilty, ask yourself: Is my guilt appropriate? Will I (or my child) care about this issue one year from now? If your guilt is truly founded, make amends and move on. There's no benefit to beating yourself up.
Maybe you decided to buy your kids one Christmas present each, knowing they would be showered with gifts from family members. Years from now, your children probably won't recall the majority of the presents you bought for them over the years. If the kids have a fun, meaningful holiday filled with the things you feel are most important (family, togetherness, love, etc) then feel satisfied in that.report abuse
Live in the moment. We can't change the past or predict the future, but we can control the "Now." When we spend more of our time regretting what we didn't do and worrying about what we are supposed to do, we miss out on what is happening right in front of us. The memories that stay with us are often the simple happenings, such as playing a board game with our family, or having a tea party with your child and some dolls. Get your children involved in some of the holiday tasks involved in holiday planning, like wrapping presents, baking pies or mailing Christmas cards.