Stress is an inevitable part of family life. Whether it’s time, money, patience, or nerves running short, stress is just a given. Add in the chaos of the holidays, and stress can quickly become the tone of your home. However, with a few simple tips, stress can be minimized or reduced, creating a (mostly) stress-free home during the holidays. Here are four simple tips for a stress-free home during the holidays to help you reduce the stress in your home and truly enjoy making memories together as a family this Christmas.
Set Realistic Expectations for a Stress-Free Home During the Holidays
Stress is a part of life, but we can help to reduce it by setting realistic expectations for family life. It’s important to avoid the expectation that your family will be “perfect” or that your children will always behave.
Set realistic expectations about the events you’ll attend, the traditions you’ll enjoy, and remember that too much sugar and not enough sleep can quickly turn even the sweetest kids into little monsters (and the same is true for parents)! Be sure that you’re considering the ages and attention-spans of all the little ones you’re planning to include in each activity.
Plan ahead for when the kids are about to “hit a wall” at the extended family gatherings (I like to have a “quiet pack” in my bag), be sure to schedule plenty of down time between events, and be OK with saying “no” to holiday invitations if your schedule is too full.
By being prepared for the meltdowns that will happen and extending lots of grace to your kids, spouse, and self, you’re on your way to a stress-free home during the holidays this year!
Recommended Reading: Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Prioritize Family Time for a Stress-Free Home During the Holidays
Spending more time as a family during the holidays is a great way to alleviate family stress. The family that plays together stays together!
One way to spend more time together as a family is to eat dinner together regularly. Taking the time to eat together and share the meal can be a great way to talk, laugh, and reduce some of the stress in your home during the holidays.
If dinner isn’t an option, perhaps another meal would work better for your family. We have friends who eat breakfast together because it’s the one time of day when they’re all home. Our family does weekend “breakfast/brunch dates” to reconnect regularly.
Give Yourself Grace for a Stress-Free Home During the Holidays
Your children aren’t going to remember if the tree was decorated “just so” or if you forgot to read part of the Advent story one night. What they will remember is the fact that you spent time with them during the holidays, making memories together.
Remember, you’re not a super hero. Even though you may want to get everything done, it’s not always going to happen. Making the effort to make memories with your family is important, but don’t stress so much about being there that you miss the joy of the season.
Putting huge expectations on yourself is likely to cause you to experience a stress-filled holiday season, full of disappointment. Give yourself lots of grace, and you’ll find the time to relax and enjoy the holidays again.
Focus on Others for a Stress-Free Home During the Holidays
The holidays are a great time to take your focus off yourself and look for ways to show kindness to those around you. You’ll be surprised how quickly the everyday stresses dissipate when you’re focused on showing kindness to others.
Here are some great ideas for showing random acts of Christmas kindness to other this holiday season. What a great tradition to start with your family in your quest for a stress-free home during the holidays!