The Christmas (and other holiday) Crazies are here! Children everywhere are so excited with the season, and everywhere parents and teachers are emailing that their children’s behavior is off the top crazy!
Well, I love the Christmas crazies in one sense. I mean, think back carefully when you were a child and how you LOVED the holidays. Remember the anticipation, the waiting, the magic of the holidays? The feeling that Christmas would never come? How about funny stories and crazy fun things? I remember my father telling me about his German aunts who started baking in early November for Christmas. They stored millions of dozens of Christmas cookies under their beds and all the children in the family would sneak in and eat the baking for several months before Christmas appeared! Or how about my own daughter and her cousin, who, two years ago, woke up at 3:30 in the morning wild and ready for breakfast and gift giving?
I am sure you have your own version of the Christmas crazies from your family – leave your funny story in the comment box so we can laugh with you!
But on a serious note, sometimes the adults getting ready for the holidays feel anxious and stressed. People write to me about this topic and I think probably would like to hear something other than “embrace the crazy and have FUN!”….So here are a few brief thoughts:
Leave time and space for the fun. Leave time and space to be outside a lot to work off energy, try to keep your food not completely off kilter, and again, work off the energy. Those of you in colder climates are so fortunate really. I remember ice skating on ponds, skiing, and cross country skiing as a child. And hours playing in the snow and sledding, and yes, shoveling, and carrying and stacking firewood. Lots of time to work and play! And those of you in warm climates, you have the beach and the waves and the sand and surf. Fun!
Do a little planning. If you have traveling to do, making sure you have a bag full of activities and parent-approved whole foods often goes a long way. Some of my favorite things for longer trips include beeswax modeling, pipe cleaners, stickers for putting on paper, telling stories, playing “I-Spy” and other games. Long car rides are great for singing! Have some little projects for around the house. If baking or whatever project you want to do is too much with multiple young children and ends in tears, give yourself permission to NOT do it. Do it in a few years. It will be better, and find something you can all do and enjoy together now.
Keep the schedule as low-key as you can. Remember the time and space rule. With small children you are probably not going to be able to do everything you want to do. Pick what is fun that you can all do together and forget the rest. Simple is best, and less is more.
Find your sense of humor. Some of the things that can be so irritating in the moment will truly be funny ten years from now, and provide stories to tell your grown children and grandchildren. If everything went smoothly, eh, what would there be to tell?
Yes, traditions are lovely, but they can be flexible, they can change as your children grow. Some years just call for simple and that is okay! And you don’t need a thousand traditions to make a holiday! Just a few will do.
Please share your favorite funny stories, and your favorite and most loved traditions!
Love and hugs,