Congratulations, we’ve made it to the most wonderful time of the year! This season is jam-packed with joy, love, and Christmas magic like none other, but it also has the potential to fall off the rails pretty quickly. At its core, this season is about hope and community, but it’s easy to lose sight of those things when we’re surrounded by so much stuff. There are people to shop for, homes to decorate, family photos to take, Christmas cards to mail, parades, and parties. While all those things are fun, they can quickly take over and become more stressful than joyful.
Every year, parents come to us in search of parenting tips that will help them minimize stress during the holiday season. So, this year, we’ve come up with our top tips for a joyful holiday season.
Quality Over Quantity
We are fortunate to live in a community that loves and does events well. In the coming months, there will be festivals, parades, a tree lighting, Christmas parties, and so on. Signing your family up for every exciting event that pops into your calendar is tempting, but that is a recipe for complete holiday burnout. Choose your favorite activities and really lean into those things. Give your family a little bit of space to breathe, and while it may be hard at first to say no to some exciting opportunities, it will make the things you choose to participate and feel even sweeter.
Quality over quantity is also an excellent method for determining how to give gifts to your children. You may be tempted to go through their Christmas list and order one of everything. But then you end up with a house full of stuff. Set up some guidelines for what gift-giving will look like in your family. For example, you may choose to give each child something to play with, something to read, and something to wear. Or perhaps this year you gift your children activities rather than toys. The goal should not be to pack the tree with as many gifts as possible but to find intentional, thoughtful ways to gift the people you love the most.
Remember Who You’re Dealing With
Each family member has their own unique personality and can be expected to respond to the holidays accordingly. If you have a child who needs a lot of downtime or doesn’t enjoy loud environments, remember these things when setting up your holiday schedule. Be prepared to customize your holiday schedule to meet the specific needs and desires of the people you love. That may mean that only a couple of people attend the Christmas parade, or you may schedule quiet days to accommodate the different personalities in your family.
Focus On The Reason For The Holidays
At St. Barnabas Episcopal School, we believe the purpose of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Everything we do is through the lens of that intention. Take some time to set an intention with your family. Why do you celebrate Christmas? Then, every opportunity that comes up, every party or a gift or activity, you can feed through the lens of what Christmas means to you. Does this gift-giving opportunity help us to draw nearer to the purpose of the holiday? This gives you plenty of opportunities to talk with your children about the true meaning of Christmas.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of commercialized Christmas. The bright lights, the beautiful wrapping papers, and the delicious treats are exciting and engaging, but they’re not the point. The point of Christmas is to centralize our faith in our family lives to practice gratitude and generosity and to celebrate hope and unconditional love. We hope these parenting tips have been helpful for you as you navigate the holidays with your family. Contact our office today for more information about our upcoming holiday opportunities.