Learn how to unwind for the holidays & enjoy more
Holidays are tough.
Parents have but one desire: to give their kids the holidays they never had. Thus, there’s the pressure of making it magical, whimsical and exciting, keep everybody happy and keeping their sanity along the way.
From November to January, they’re on a race against time and resources to find the PERFECT gift for everybody.
What they get in return? A doodle card, a bunch of coupons, kids fighting around the Xmas table, teens ghosting anything else but their phone, an entire mess to clean up, a few moments before their little ones ambush the tree on Christmas morning.
We know you’re still going to go out of your way to make these days extra special for your family so we’re not selling the “let’s not do Christmas this year” message.
We’ve prepared a guide for parents to help them get more things done, with less of a hassle and some new ways to ensure that everybody is enjoying the holiday season, including them.
The Ultimate Parents’ Guide on How to Unwind for the Holidays
Start early ?
Every mom can be a magician if she plans ahead.
Some people start as early as June, others buy gifts all year round and make the smart choice of getting them at sale.
The only thing that makes holiday shopping better is the undisputed beauty of sales.
Starting early ensures more chances of finding a good deal and getting stuff at a normal pace, without creating a massive hole in your budget. Plus, even though overnight delivery sounds like a nice promise, mid-December orders have a risk factor attached to them, with all the madness around those dates. Better safe, than sorry.
Online shopping ?️
If you’re already loathing the elbow to elbow crowds, lines or getting to the store on time, online is the way to go.
Make a list, create a budget and start scrolling for offers. If you have your heart set on specific items, you can add them to your wishlist and set reminders or notifications for when their price drops.
There are so many budget-friendly options out there Best Buy, Amazon, ScopePrice.com, Dollar tree.
Apps to get you organized ?
The nightmare before Christmas shopping is made of post-its, lists, and forgetting a person from your list.
Even shopping sprees can be organized!
Since we all are hooked to our phones more we should be, we might as well find some good use for them around the holidays, apart from adding reindeer antlers on a pic of sleeping grandpa.
Think of these apps like Santa’s Little Helpers and add to the magic theme you’ve got going on.
Import Recipients, Set Budgets, Plan Gifts, Create Shopping Lists, Find Gifts, Track Progress – and so much more. This app promises to make holiday shopping easier and fun again.
You start by adding recipients, add a gift for that person and then categorize the gift as an Idea, Purchased, Wrapped, Given. Even track if the item is ordered. You can half use the app to just track purchases, but adding gift categories or details about them makes sure you never forget someone on your list.
Budgeting made easy and buying that makes sense.
This app allows you to send Xmas list via email, Twitter, Evernote, etc., add/edit people to your Xmas list, add/remove gifts for each person on your list, provide a money amount per person and per gift to help budget for Christmas. Plus, every gift can include a picture, a personalized note, and a link!
Let’s say it together: Christmas Themed Progress Pie Charts!
Black Friday, Cyber Monday or winter holidays will not catch you unprepared with this app. You’re able to add photo, store, and price options, and to duplicate presents and details for more than one person.
Now that you’ve sorted out all the usual stress triggers and have help with organizing, it’s time to think on how to maximize your days off.
Limit phone-time ? ?
Yours and that of others, if needed.
Consciously decide to take a break for social media, work emails and make a special place for everyone to store their phones at important times – dinner, gift unwrapping, Christmas Eve. Everything is already taken care of, so unplug.
Reconnect with the people you don’t see that often or with those with whom you share all your daily adventures and challenges.
Guilt-free time for yourself ?
If possible, sleep in. Read.
Squeeze in some exercise those days, stretching, yoga, a run or spend more time outside. All our New Year resolutions include more exercise but we fail at it miserably, every time so this might be a good time to take some extra steps.
Season spices might do the trick for a better sleep or a more relaxed you and nothing beats Citrus fragrance during the holidays. Your house will smell Christmassy and it will boost levels of the mood-balancing hormone, norepinephrine. Put a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil on a hanky and pop it in a plastic bag.
A holiday routine for kids ?
While parents will certainly benefit from the well-deserved sleep-in schedule, kids work best with routines, especially younger kids, age between 2-6. Stick to their bedtime hours and everybody will be happier.
Extra outside activity will do wonders for their sleep as well, and remember that even though we’re facing colder days, they still need a fair share of fresh air.
Plan fewer activities, so you get to feel the days off, stick to a schedule and get everybody on board with the plan.
Make your life easier and ask everybody what they want to do during this time, instead of trying to guess and anticipate their hidden needs and forcing everyone to an 8-hour perfect agenda of “fun activities”.
Practice gratitude ?
This habit alone will shift your perspective, empower you to see the positive in every situation and to count your blessings, even if they are sometimes in disguise.
You can make this into a new family tradition and keep it going even after Thanksgiving.