You race through the mall, searching for the right gift for a loved one. You juggle obligations like they are balls in the air, but there are so many that you fear dropping one of them.
As we move into the holiday season, moms and dads can get overwhelmed trying to create memorable moments for everyone in their lives. There are expectations of parents, friends, children, the office, and even yourself, which can set everyone up for disappointment.
This year, you consider shifting the craziness of expectations into something more family-focused, calmer, and even more fun. Here are five low-cost ways to make more family magic with less stress during this holiday season.
1. Give the gift of time with you—instead of fighting the crowds to buy that super popular toy, consider giving your children the gift of an experience this year. Give them a coupon good for one special day with you, doing what they want to do. If you have more than one child, give each child the gift of a special day with you. They will remember this gift for the rest of their lives.
2. Take an evening off—watch holiday movies with the whole family. Order pizza, so you don’t have to cook. After eating your fill of pizza, snuggle under a blanket with hot chocolate and cookies to get into the holiday spirit! You and your kids will love it!
3. Create your own ugly holiday sweater—Buy sweatshirts for all, stock up on ribbon material, sequins, fuzz balls, felt, and other sewing notions, and have a contest to see who can create the ugliest holiday sweater! The winner gets to decide what the family will do that evening. Fun for the whole family!
4. Spend a sunny afternoon outside—travel to a Christmas tree farm, even if you don’t plan on buying a tree. Walk the aisles of trees and breathe in the scent. The farm may have tractor rides, hot apple cider, wreaths, garland, and other offerings. Spend the afternoon soaking up the scents of the holidays!
5. Create a new holiday tradition—on December 23, get out the sleeping bags and let your kids camp under the Christmas tree (or by the symbol of the holiday you celebrate). Read them a holiday story to spark their imagination and inspire their dreams.
And, lastly, a gift for the adults. Pause. Stop. Reset. Take a breath and consider what you want to do. While everyone else has an expectation of what you should do, you need to consider your needs. Give yourself the gift of taking one afternoon or one day where you feed your inner child by doing the things you want to do. Make time for yourself. While you don’t have to be childish and behave like a child, it is ok to be childlike and enjoy the spirit, the energy, and the fun of the holiday season.