Parenting Expert Alyson Schafer offers tips on how to keep your household sane throughout the holiday season.
You are allowed to change traditions!
If you no longer enjoy certain activities (hosting, baking traditional items, etc) or they’re now adding stress instead of joy, it’s time to drop them. Everyone else may moan about it but at least you will be smiling knowing you are less stressed. You may even be up for “additional but not critical activities”. Stopping now doesn’t mean stopping forever.
Perhaps your family always gets together at a certain house, but the travel is hard on the kids and hotels for the family are costing a fortune. Perhaps other family members are feeling the same. How about floating a new suggestion out there to see how others react? Typically, families are not good communicators and they don’t want to offend anyone, but if you are willing to be bold and call it, many may thank you for it!
If it’s worth doing – It’s worth doing badly
Too often we don’t do things we actually enjoy because we turn them into a huge deal and want them to turn out perfectly. If you really want to have friends in for dinner, it doesn’t mean you have to drop a ton of money and clean for days. Who wants that?
Not every dinner party is out of the pages of a magazine. Instead, keep the part you like, say having friends over and just do it “badly”. Badly meansdoing it easier, like having a pot luck, ckip cleaning the house, and don't dress up - wear jeans. Lowering the bar can make you remember what was fun about entertaining again, the people and time you spend together, not stress, fret and perfection. The same goes for gifts, because it doesn’t always have to be “the perfect gift”. Sometimes a “good enough gift” is just fine.
Prepare for the unexpected
The holidays are definitely a time for the unexpected to arise, like a surprise gift exchange at your children’s school, a bake-off, or random visitors.Try to think back to moments that you’ve feel caught off guard and anticipate what may happen. With gifts, you can have a bunch of generic presents on-hand and gift bags with tissue paper so you can excuse yourself, swoop downstairs and get “their” gift. Crisis averted.
Manage your attitude
Newsflash… Lines will be long, parking lots will be full, traffic will be bad, you will be hot and you can’t change any of it. Yet you can change your attitude about them. What can you do while you wait? Listen to a good audio book on your phone, try a standing meditation instead of a walking mediation, just take these slices of time to reflect on what you are grateful for. If you are late, or something is out of stock, people will understand. If they don’t, it's not your fault because you know you tried.