A Peaceful holiday season is possible!

December 13, 2014 in Uncategorized by Hilary Akman

STRESS1 (2) Does this happen to you every year?   You envision cherishing the holidays with your children during their winter break from school or homeschooling.  Finally you get to spend one on one time with them without schoolwork taking up the majority of your time… and then it seems that all your good intentions of a relaxing break got hijacked by the busyness of Christmas festivities…work parties, pageants, recitals, decorating, baking, cookie swaps, a trip to Santa Claus, shopping, wrapping. And if your like me, my son has a December birthday in the mix of it all! No wonder it becomes such a stressful time.

So I’m going to give you an unusual analogy for holiday events.  Think of this time of year like going to a restaurant.  When you go to a restaurant you, you look at the menu and order a few items, maybe an appetizer, an entree, perhaps dessert.  There might be many choices on the menu that look good to you but you don’t order everything on the menu!

I think the same goes for deciding on how you want to spend your precious family time during Christmas.  There might be a lot of festivities that look really appealing…it would be fun, your kids would like it…but how much are you going to cram into the season?

The question I would challenge you with is, at what cost are you willing to have your intentions of a peaceful, relaxing holiday season chipped away at by attending one more event?

So here are some strategies to finally creating the peaceful winter break you crave:

1. Gather the family around the table, if everyone is old enough to participate, and make a list of what events/activities sound appealing, and pick and choose 3 activities that are not to be missed. And then select 3 more as back-ups that if you don’t actually attend or make then that is okay too. Resist the temptation to fall back into old habits to participate in every event the community has to offer.

2. Remember what your kids really want the most is your time, as cliche as it sounds, it is true. Even older kids! Plan a special one on one time with each child.  It can be as simple as going into another room with one of your children and cuddling up and reading a stack of Christmas books.

3. Manage yourself! Your kids feed off of your energy.  If your relaxed your kids will be relaxed.  When you notice yourself becoming frazzled, model for your children how you can self-regulate.  Make an announcement that you need to take care of yourself, “I’m getting really cranky, I’m going to take some deep breaths/spend time with God/put music on/ in order to feel better so I can play with your guys.”

4. Let go of the picture perfect holiday…your kids don’t need it and they don’t want it.  Where are you willing to let go?

My prayer is that you will be blessed beyond measure this holiday season!