Navigating the Holidays with Kiddos

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year and we could not be more excited! Experiencing the holidays through the eyes of your own child is just absolutely the best thing. But we know, with all this splendor can also come some challenges. The holidays can be A LOT. Mentally, emotionally, financially, there are tons of obligations. It can just be overwhelming. We have some ways of combating this feeling that we’d like to share to keep the holidays fun and joyous for everyone!

1) Don’t feel the need to keep up with the Joneses! Your child’s holiday experience is what you make it. Your kids will not look back 20 years from now and remember that you spent 1000 dollars on their gifts. They’ll remember the love, the laughter, the traditions. It’s so sad that Christmas has just become about how much money we spend on our kids’ gifts just to maintain some sort of image to all our friends or Instagram followers. You do not love your kids with money. Yes, buying them gifts is so fun, but set a realistic budget and stick to it! One way I stick to my budget is shopping secondhand. I check out the online yard sale pages, consignment shops, I even stash away toys people give us and gift them at Christmas. This may seem “cheap” to some, but my kids do not know the difference at all and it saves me tons of money in the long run! We also give the grandparents a small list of items the kids want/need. This cuts down on any double purchases and takes things off of my own list that I then don’t have to purchase. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Most grandparents like having an idea of what to get!

Karsen riding his bike that I found in almost brand new condition on the online yard sale.

2) Make time for just you! So many times, we get wrapped up in feeling like we need to attend every party, go to every function, etc. and we end up feeling run down and ragged by the time the holiday season is over. It is 100 percent okay to politely decline an invitation to something. Especially if saying yes to it comes at the cost of time with your own family. Choose the few things ahead of time that you plan to attend throughout the season, and make the other time for you! Bake cookies, watch movies, drive around and look at Christmas lights on houses. There are so many things to do with kids at Christmas that it would be a shame to miss it all just to attend another cookie swap, wouldn’t it??

These cuties are worth saying “no” to a few things I think 😊

3) Purchase one gift per week til a few weeks before Christmas. Now, I’ll be honest, this is actually one I’m trying out this year. I think if I spread the gifts out, I won’t feel the weight of the money spent all at once, plus it doesn’t feel so overwhelming buying so many gifts altogether. I started 2 weeks ago and plan to stop the first week of December. I then plan to wrap a few gifts a night til I’m finished and I don’t have to stress with last minute gift buying/wrapping and can just focus on the fun stuff!

4) Don’t be afraid to kid-ify your Christmas! Yes, kids need to learn how to wait to open presents or eat a nice meal, but if you know that you’d all be more comfortable with paper and plastic or opening a few gifts Christmas Eve, have at it!! My family has never been one to use nice china or glass wear at Christmas. It’s just not who we are. There’s always been a ton of kids running around and it’s just not practical. We could try and conform to how others do things, or we could embrace who we are and just do things our way!

They love helping out!

5) One thing I’ve started doing the last few years is making sure I save at least one recipe the kids can easily help me with both at thanksgiving and Christmas. They love to feel included and like they contributed in someway. I don’t choose a super complex recipe as to stress myself out, just one that takes a few easy steps. And then I’ve made sure to have a tablecloth that can be colored on. Them having fun things to while we all try and prepare for the meals to take place just makes things so much easier on all of us. And then you have a fun tablecloth to eat off of once it’s time because they’ve decorated it with all kinds of fun artwork! Walmart usually has options for colorable tablecloths and they are like 2 dollars each. That’s a win to me!

Our tablecloth from last year. Even the teenagers and adults got in on the fun!

I hope these little tips can help y’all in some way! I think every child (and parent) deserves as stress free of a holiday season as they can get! Remember what we’re celebrating this time of year and embrace this time together!

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