With Thanksgiving behind us, it is now safe to blast those Christmas tunes, hang the stockings, set out the menorah, and put up the tree (although we realize some of you probably did this right after Halloween!). This time of year brings a chill to the air, carolers in the streets, Christmas markets, and dreams of hot cocoa walks through the neighborhood to see everyone’s well adorned Christmas lights. It truly is magic…for our kids. As parents, this time of year can bring about a new kind of stress and list making that even St. Nick couldn’t handle. Christmas cards, gift lists, shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, cleaning - the list goes on. While we would normally savor the opportunity to have our kids pitch in and help (many hands make light work), there are just some things they can’t participate in if we want to keep the magic alive. Before you consider telling the kids the Elf on a Shelf took a multi-year sabbatical, let’s explore some ways to survive the holidays and have a holly jolly time.
1. Let the kids help where they can. Need someone to wrap Aunt Edith’s gift or make place cards for Christmas dinner? These are great activities for kids to help with that will free you up to do other tasks. Kids are usually thrilled when they get to do seemingly adult jobs and we’re pretty sure Aunt Edith won’t mind the unique approach to wrapping.
2. Now is a great time to consider donating unused toys. With the plethora of new gifts likely to come your kid’s way, make space now to help tame the overwhelm later. Check out this article for ideas on where to donate used toys that still have a lot of love to give.
3. Alas, there will come the time when you have to wrap all those presents…I mean, help Santa wrap all those presents (even Santa needs to outsource sometimes!). To keep the kids away while you secretly pull out gifts from whatever hiding spot you deemed worthy this year, check out Beeloo’s curated holiday-themed activity packets.
4. Breath. You got this. We often feel the need to make everything perfect for our kids. Cherish the few years we have with them where this time of year is truly magical. Chances are they won’t notice if the Christmas cards are late or the garland wasn’t hung just right. What they’ll remember is the time they got to spend with you experiencing the holidays together. This is advice straight from the mouth of my seven-year-old, and I think it’s pretty good.
Above all else, have a wonderful holiday season. We wish you and your families nothing but happiness in the new year and beyond.