Are you feeling crazed these days? There are about six million things on my to-do list right now and I’m feeling it. But this year, I have made a goal to slow down, set a mood, and spent time with my kids.
Here are my best tips to keep the holidays calm:
- Set a mood. Lately, I’ve been dimming the lights at dinner and lighting a few small candles (when my kids were tiny – I used these). Turn on some soft Christmas music – and suddenly you’ve set a calmer, quieter mood. It takes two minutes, and I can see the immediate effect it has on my kids (and me!).
- Build a quiet place – I saw a sweet tip on Instagram on how to build a reading nook out of all those empty Amazon boxes. Margaret is six – and this would keep her busy for hours.
- Choose the simpler option – This has been my holiday mantra for years now: keep it simple. For example: there is a beautiful lights display in Nashville. It’s gorgeous – and every year I am tempted to take the kids. But dragging three little guys there in the cold, paying for tickets, parking, and walking through the crowds is an immediate drain on my holiday cheer. So we skip the big production, and either walk around our neighborhood at 5:30 p.m. to see the Christmas lights, or pile everyone into the car after dinner with a sippy cup of hot chocolate and take a 15 minute drive.
- If all else fails, turn on a movie – Do you have a favorite holiday movie? There are so many good ones for kids: Home Alone, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas – and my favorite: A Charlie Brown Christmas.
For younger kids? My favorite “calm” holiday movie is the Scholastic Storybook Treasures: 20 Holiday Adventures. It includes 20 animated children’s books about Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter-themed stories. Margaret’s favorites are “Morris and the Disappearing Bag” and “Merry Christmas Splat.” My favorite is “Brave Irene.”
Do you have any holiday tips on how to keep things calm and enjoyable? I would love to hear them!