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

Simplify Your Holidays

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

Simplify Your Holidays

Family life is always busy, but the holidays tend to add even more to an already full schedule. It is up to us as parents to make sure we are allowing room in our lives to genuinely enjoy the holidays with family and friends, and here are a few tips below about how to simplify the season...

Be Picky with Events

There is no shortage of options when it comes to holiday themed events! I think there are 20 different options for every weekend from now until January 2nd; but it is important to look at them more closely and choose wisely. When trying to decide whether or not we should go to an event, I try to think about whether or not we are going to genuinely enjoy the experience. If I feel like my kids would have more fun staying at home and having a family game night, then why would I drag everyone out of the house to a crowded event?

Cook in Bulk

Many families head to multiple lunches/dinners in the same day or over a few days, and oftentimes we need to bring a dish to share for each one! Make things easier on yourself and cook in bigger batches. Decide that you are going to take the same dish or dessert to all of these get-togethers, and then cook and freeze as-needed.

Gift Similar Gifts

Buying individual gifts for every single person on your list can be daunting! I have found it easier to pick an idea that I love and then use that for multiple people/kids/families. So if I found a new family game that I love, I might buy it for multiple families. One year I decided to gift everyone in my family a TicketMaster gift card (so that they could choose their own sporting event or concert to go to) and paired that with a smaller personalized gift. Another year, I fell in love with a local, small business that offers a huge variety of cooking oils. I went in and taste-tested them, and chose assortments for gift baskets for various people based on what I thought they would like best. Another year, I found a good deal on a fun toy and bought a whole bunch of them for my friend’s children. Just picking a theme helps me not be so overwhelmed!

Schedule in Downtime

Like I said above, there are plenty of options for scheduling holiday themed activities. But, it is important to pace yourself. There have been years where I have been so burnt out on Christmas before we even got to Christmas day. Remind yourself that you have the rest of the year to do fun, family activities too… not everything has to happen in the span of a month.

Not Everything Stops

Unfortunately, the world does not necessarily stop all together during the holidays. Business doesn’t come to a screeching halt, websites don’t go offline, social media feeds don’t pause. But… I can still give myself a small break from my business by following a few suggestions…

  • Work Ahead - This is easier said than done, and there is a ton of effort that goes into being able to take a true break; but, it is worth it to have some downtime to be able to come back refreshed and inspired.
  • Set Boundaries - Turn off those notifications, set those email auto-replies, and set clear boundaries of when you are out and when you’ll be back. It will surprise you how many “emergencies” can actually wait until next week.
  • Hire Out - For many businesses (if you’re not in retail), things can slow down a bit over the holidays. This makes it a great time to tackle some of those to-do list and maintenance items that you have been putting off. Hire the right experts for the job and let them upgrade your business while you take some time off!


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.