Whether you are traveling or staying local, hosting or being a party guest, the holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many reasons. This is especially true if you have children. The days are shorter, but they seem to last forever because the kids are on Christmas Break, and some days it is too bitterly cold to send them outside to play. The kids become bored and restless, eventually turning on one another, and look to you to solve the madness. But all you want is five minutes of peace to finish your coffee. Sound familiar?
Getting Started on Christmas Break
Don’t fret. There is a way to help relieve some of this stress, but it does take a little effort and strategy. Bust out your calendar and make a plan for every day! Before Christmas Break begins, or on the first day, ask your kids for some ideas of what they would like to do to keep them busy. Use post-it notes to create a calendar of events (I like post-it notes becuase you can easily move them around depemding on the weather). Make sure you leave a day to go shopping for any supplies that might be needed!
If it’s tolerable, send your kids outside to play! You spend all that money on snowpants, boots, coats and gloves; you might as well get use out of them!! Just make sure that they have all the necessary equipment for building proper forts and/or snowmen so they aren’t coming inside every five minutes to get something. Shovels, rakes, sand castle bukets, ect. will be perfect for this! Plan to take them skating, sledding or skiing one day. Sure, you will probably have to participate too, but nothing tires a kid out more than playing on a snowy hill. Or maybe just go on a winter walk through your neighborhood!
On days when it’s too cold to set foot outside, have crafts on the ready!! Your kids can make decorations to hang on the windows, or holiday cards or gifts to give your friends and family. Create your own “ugly sweaters” by painting up some old sweatshirts or sweaters and gluing on pom-poms and glitter. They can decorate picture frames or make ornaments to hang on the tree. Baking and cooking projects are always fun too! Need to move around? You can always turn on a little holiday music and have a dance party, or an ugly sweater fashion show. And when you just need to get out of the house, you can take your kids to a movie. Or take them Christmas shopping at the dollar store, and then, when you get home, you can have a wrapping party. Whatever you plan to do, just make sure you have a plan so boredom doesn’t take over. And if all else fails, send them to Grandma’s house.