Christmas: Ideas to Help Simplify and Slow Down

A speaker shared at my local MOPS group recently. On the topic of the Christmas holidays.

Ideas to Help Simplify and Slow Down

She spoke on simplifying the season and slowing it down. She shared that it is important for parents to create a relaxed and loving time with family for the children. She mentioned Christmas season is the loneliest time of year for kids. Parents are busy tasking, crafting, partying, etc… This was eye opening for me. I think back to all the baking and making gifts and shopping and cleaning I do… I see how I can change things to make the season more about my precious ones than about the hype…

She listed 4 specific things to focus on with our kids:

  1. Make eye contact with your children. Watch their reactions to things, to people…
  2. Physical contact. Take time to snuggle, brush their hair, rub their back…
  3. Give them focused attention – make a conscious effort not to multi-task at times so kids fully have mom’s attention.
  4. Training and discipline.

She said that often times, we think are children are acting up because they know it’s close to Christmas, the sugar, etc… In reality it may be that we are so busy that we lose focus on keeping tabs on our kids and loosen up our discipline. We are more tired because we’ve been so busy or staying up late. It is so important to remain consistent in this area through the holiday.

How can we simplify?

Make fewer gifts, entertain less, volunteer less, watch tv less…

How about present overload?! Her family opens mailed presents as they come. When they get the package, they pull out pictures of that person or family. The intention is to help the child note/be aware of who gave what. If they open 32 presents Christmas morning, adults can’t even keep track of that!

Kids need an evenly paced holiday season, and adults do too! If we follow the commercial calendar for Christmas – we adults will definitely be DONE by December 25th too! For kids, there is a huge anticipation and suddenly it’s over, almost in a matter of minutes.

Some ideas…

  • Time the events on a calendar… when to get the tree, guests arrival, putting up decorations, when Christmas music begins to play…
  • Finish Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. Leave the weeks before Christmas more open for family, and eliminate more time away \”getting stuff done!\” She mentioned it isn\’t any less hectic getting it done by Thanksgiving than Christmas, there is always a lot to do…
  • Extend past the 25th. The 12 days of Christmas begins the 26th! If a family eases into the season, there will be energy left to taper down.
  • Christmas Day is never perfect… and most importantly don\’t try to do it all in one day!
  • Strong family traditions help to slow down the season as well…

I don’t know that all these ideas fit for my growing family, but I think there are some good ideas and concepts to consider. I would LOVE to finish Christmas shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving. What a concept!

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2 Responses to “Christmas: Ideas to Help Simplify and Slow Down”

  1. Amanda says:

    Sounds like good advice to me. I will have to make that my plan this year.

  2. Froggie says:

    Ya know… growing up, I was always anti-pre-Thanksgiving anything to do with Christmas. I thought people that shopped before Thanksgiving were just adding to the commercialization of Christmas. I hated seeing Christmas trees and lights the day after Halloween. I never did ANYTHING, not a single gift. Nothing, before Thanksgiving….
    (and now, the rest of the story….)
    Then I had kids. Now, I realize that if I don’t start picking up little things when I see them in clearance racks, sale bins, whatever in August, I can’t afford anything by Christmas. (talk about run on sentance!!) So now, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and I’m almost done. And, we didn’t have to borrow money this year! We’re not going to be spending the next four months paying people back. We didn’t deffer (sp?) our car payment this year. And, frankly, I’m not really stressed this year about it. Hubby and I decided to scale back with eachother. (ya know, I just decided that I should post about this…lol).

    Anyway, long story short, thanks for the insight. 🙂 I really appreciate the thought! (I need to get a speaker like that at our MOPS meetings!!)

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