Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

5 Brit Morin-Approved Tips for Surviving the Holidays With Less Stress

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, for the most part. As a parent of two children under two and the founder and CEO of a startup, the holidays tend to simultaneously be the happiest AND most stressful time of the year for me. Luckily I’ve got some tips and tricks that help me tackle the holiday season with less stress and more joyous moments with my family. Check ‘em out below, then let me know how you survive your own end of year celebrations.

1. Distractions are a must. This one is an easy holiday hack. Whenever I sense a meltdown coming on, I simply turn up the holiday music to create a sense of cheer and calm for everyone.

If that tactic doesn’t work, pile the kids into the car and drive around neighborhoods to look at holiday lights together. Not only will your kids be entertained by all the bright lights, they may even just pass out in that car seat of theirs before you make it back home ;)

2. Let a little screentime in. While I don’t advocate for overdoing it on all the screens, watching a movie together calms everyone down. Press play on an old classic or a fresh film and bond with your children while sipping a hot drink of your choice. By putting on a movie, everyone will be entertained *and* you’ll all be reminded what the spirit of the season really is all about. That alone should help you de-stress.

3. Santa’s Watching…. Let your parental creativity really shine through with your kids by bringing out the Elf on the Shelf. Teach your kids that the Elf will be watching over them and has a say in whether they end up on the Naughty or Nice List! Ansel is starting to understand this, and he’s been on his best behavior when Elf is in eyeshot. Maybe the Elf should stay hanging on the shelf all year round, no? ;)

4. Everyone takes part in the cheery chaos: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em — right?! Indulge in the holiday craziness with your kids and let them trim the tree, deck the halls, wrap gifts or take part in other holiday traditions your family holds near and dear. Our family’s favorite holiday activity is decorating cookies, which tends to get pretty messy. But with JOHNSON’S® HEAD-TO-TOE® baby cleansing cloths I’m able to clean up after Ansel and Austin — and even my husband — very easily without added stress. By allowing the kids to join you in the holiday fun, you’ll be bonding in a festive way and not thinking about all that other extra cleaning that will need to happen once these tasks are complete.

5 Don’t be ashamed to admit you need a break: We’ve all been there. Sometimes the season can be a little too much and you just need a night away to truly de-stress. Live near the grandparents? Take advantage of them as built-in babysitters and have a night out on the town for yourself or your spouse. The whole family will be better for it.

If you just can’t seem to get away from the kids, make sure to load up on as much “me” time as you can once they head to bed. Shake up a seasonal cocktail or glass of wine, hop in a warm bath, or kick your feet up and relax before the cycle starts anew tomorrow.

Beyond all of this, know you’re not alone! January will be here before you know it and the rest of us parents are all counting down, too.

What are your tips for reducing stress and adding more joy to the holidays? Share your secrets with me on Twitter, @brit, I’d love to incorporate them into my day-to-day!

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.