How we de-stressed this Christmas season for our family
Christmas season. I love it. I love the lights, the smells the music, the decorations. Today, on Thursday the 21st of December, as I write this Article, we have our first Christmas celebration. In the next six days, we have five more. The whole month of December has been kind of crazy. So much to organize and prepare. Figuring out presents – preparing or buying them – learning the roles our kids are playing in the different Christmas plays they are part of. Decorating the house. Doing some baking.
It’s a beautiful season!
To be there for our kids. Being a family. Having quality time with each other.
In this article I’d like to share a few ideas we tried this season to implement quality times in the life of our family. I tend to be this person who gets into a drive, seeing all that has to (or could) be done – having great difficulties to relax and give my loved ones what they need most: Myself.
Here they are:
- Set my priorities right: I needed to remember that my children don’t need the most amazing cookies, the greatest Christmas tree or have the most extravagant decorated house of the whole neighborhood. They don’t need the best food, the best presents, the perfect clean house.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect: Our Christmas tree doesn’t look perfect. But it was decorated with the help of our children. The cookies we made are not the most sophisticated ones. But we did them together. Our meal at Christmas will not be the most time-consuming and refined one. But I will have more time to enjoy my time with the kids, and we will enjoy the meal together (without a stressed out me).
- Housework can wait: I like my house clean and in order. However, a couple of days ago, we woke up in the morning and there was snow outside – something we get only a few days down here in the plain of Switzerland – I decided to leave my big pile of laundry where it was (laying unfolded beside the washing machine) and we went outside with the kids to play in the snow.
- Schedule family times in midst our busy life. Like I mentioned in this article, we started to have our family times in the morning. We still love them. Those times are the most relaxing, cozy, personal times we have with our children. Now, during this Christmas season, we have dedicated a time in the evening to light up the candles (and now the candles on our nicely decorated Christmas tree too), to spend time together and to sing.
- Keep the decoration simple. I love Christmas decoration. However, this year I decided to keep it simple: I hung up light curtains I found for a good price, I put some candles on high (in a safe distance from our toddler) and ready was this year’s decoration – and the result was still beautiful.
- Cut down unnecessary commitment. There were several invitations we declined. An invitation for our kids to be involved in more Christmas plays or activities, dinners for me or my husband, etc…. simply because our times as a family are important for us and we want to protect our times together.
- Being happy together is more important than everything going as planned.
There were times when things went everything else but planned. On one occasion, we were planning a two hour drive to get to a family event. This was one of those few days we had a lot of snow, even on the highway.
To be there for them. To be a family. To have quality time with each other.