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Here are 5 genius hacks to help minimize holiday stress levels. Check out these simple tips that will transform your holiday and get rid off the angry perfectionist mom. Click through to learn how banish Christmas stress for good.
If you want to capture the wonder and joy of Christmas just watch a young child. The photograph above is a picture of my middle son.
It was his second Christmas and the tree with its twinkling lights and ornaments had captivated him. I managed to snap this photograph just as he reached out to gently stroke one of the ornaments.
His face is full of wonder, the kind that comes from a deep down sense of awe and amazement. It is one of my favorite pictures of him.
Preschoolers know how to celebrate Christmas
At the library the preschoolers are starting to get excited about Christmas. These little ones love to share their Christmas stories. Dancing up and down with joy they tell me who is coming for Christmas and what they are doing to get ready.
If only we could package that joy!
I wish I could package some of that joy and give it out on the street at this time of year. You see I can’t help noticing that when I look around me I see so many stressed out adults. The contrast is striking. It got me thinking
- What happens to us when we grow up?
- What happens to our sense of joy and wonder?
Maybe it’s time for us to take our lead from the young children in our lives. Maybe it’s time for us to reclaim some of that joy and wonder. I have interacted with many preschoolers through the years and have learned a lot from them about how to enjoy the holidays.
The preschooler way to banish holiday stress
1. They fully embrace what they enjoy
Young children have the capacity to fully embrace the present. If they enjoy doing something they give it their full attention and enjoy every moment.
Tip 1: This year take some time make a list of the things you really enjoy about the holidays season. Then joyfully embrace those things. Try answering these helpful questions. It will only take a few minutes and will help you figure out what deserves your full attention.
2. They are very good at saying No!
Preschoolers are really good at saying no. There have no qualms about it either. While this trait can be trying at times it is actually very healthy.
Tip 2: It’s time to follow their lead and start saying no with gusto! If we want time to embrace what we love, then we need to say no to what we don’t. There is no rule that says you HAVE to do anything and it is fine to say no! The 5 Ds in this post are a helpful guide to say no.
3. They focus on relationships and experiences
The preschoolers at the library love to talk about their Christmas celebration. They talk excitedly about their family’s Christmas traditions and who came to visit. Not one of them has ever told me what gifts they received.
I know from experience that a Christmas celebration with an emphasis on relationships and family traditions is wonderful. We can’t go wrong if we focus on those things.
Tip:3 Look at your to do list. Do the items focus on family traditions? Give yourself permission to delete (or delegate) anything that does not have anything to do with your Christmas traditions and building family relationships .
This might include things like attending office/friends parties, writing Christmas cards, Christmas house cleaning, volunteering to organize the church pageant, baking cookies for class parties (buy them instead). None of these are bad choices, but we don’t have to say yes to them all.
What will you cross off your list?
Related: 25 Simple Traditions Your Kids Will Really Love
4. They prefer things to be simple
Young children tend do better in situations where they are not overwhelmed with too much.
I remember so well when my boys were that age. They would open a gift and want to play with it immediately. They had absolutely no interest in opening the other gifts.
In our culture we are constantly bombarded with the message that more is better. Actually the opposite is true. For the last 15 years I have been working to simplify Christmas. You can read my story here.
Downsizing Christmas has really helped me to enjoy the holidays and focus on what matters.
Tip 4: Choose one or two ways to simplify your Christmas celebration this year.
5. They don’t worry if something isn’t perfect.
During December the children in the library Story Time group make ornaments and gifts together. It’s such fun. The children paint and embellish to their hearts content.
Most of these creations are definitely unique and often lopsided.
It never occurs to the young artists that they are not good enough to take home. It is a good reminder to me that my Christmas doesn’t have to be picture perfect. If I have done something with love then it is good enough.
Tip 5: Embrace the gift of imperfection. It will free you from holiday stress and help you enjoy the magic.
Are you feeling frazzled? Take your lead from the children
If you are finding yourself a little frazzled at the thought of Christmas take a few moments to watch the children. Then take a deep breath and follow their lead.
Remember that in the eyes of your child love is not found in an enormous pile of expensive presents, a perfectly decorated house, or mounds of exquisite food. Love is experienced in the tender moments of connection and the time spent enjoying the season with them.
A little gift to help
What helps you to keep your focus during the holidays? How do you stop the clamor of the endless to do lists? What do your children most enjoy about Christmas?