Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for my honest review.
Holy cow! It is December already, which means the Christmas holiday has officially started. With that comes numerous family Christmas traditions! From trimming the tree, to visits with the big guy himself, each family has their own Christmas traditions to uphold. For us, the traditions begin with the tree.
That being said, I have also found that sometimes the traditions that mean so much to us, can bring upon unwanted stress in our little ones. As we are busy trying to ensure perfection, we often have itty bitties who are becoming whiny, fussy, and argumentative because they do not understand the wait or process of certain traditions.
How do you avoid having your kid melt down in the middle of your Christmas traditions? Here are a few ways my family has found peace and merriment (see what I did there?) in including my babies in our holiday traditions.
Explain the Christmas Tradition, and it’s Significance ahead of Time
So your family has decorated the Christmas Tree together while listening to Christmas Carols and drinking cocoa ever since you can remember? Great! I bet your babies will love to help you carry on the tradition. Before you start however, take a minute to sit down and explain to them the details of the project.
The ornaments you are putting on the tree? Some of them may be older than you, and your kiddo should probably know that they need to use extreme caution. Actually putting the tree together or cutting down a tree going to take more than 5 minutes? Let your children know so that they know to be prepared for a few extra minutes rather than being disappointed when you are not starting right this minute.
Also, be sure to let your kids know why it is important that you are carrying on the Christmas tradition. If you want them to appreciate the task, let them in on why it is significant to you! You would be surprised at how many conversation starters will come out during the activity!
Cut out the Extra Wait if Possible
We all know that waiting can be rough, especially on younger kiddos. And how miserable is it for them to have to wait to participate in a cool, Christmas tradition after hearing about it from you?
Best way to avoid the meltdown associated with the wait? Cut it out!
Seriously, before you begin with your Christmas tradition, think about how you could cut down the unexciting parts for your kids sake. is your four year old really going to enjoy watching you string lights around the tree while cussing over the tangles and strands that will not light? Probably not. So how about we do that part before we bring the baby into the event. Trust me, it saves a lot of fuss.
Headed to go see Santa, or the neighborhood light show? Try to go when you know it is not going to be so crowded. Taking the kids to visit with Santa on a week night can provide so much more magic, as there are not 50 other kids waiting to see him. This means more time for your babies to interact with Santa and experience the magic of the season, and you have less screaming and fighting with impatient kids waiting in an hour long line. Win, win!
Have Snacks readily Available
What makes any situation better? Snacks! And having them readily available for your kids during your Christmas traditions will make everything so much more enjoyable for everyone!
For real moms, this year during our evening decorating the tree, we had a HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Tray on hand and it seriously made the whole event! The tray had something for everyone in my family, including crackers and cheese for my little 9 month old, Ellie. Not only this, but our HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays provided enough variety that no one in my household became bored with it. In fact, the family continued eating off of it for the rest of the evening!
Out and about? No problem! Grab a HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays and pack the contents to go! My kids love everything on the tray, so it makes an easy grab and go snack when it is divided up into baggies, and the snack is a great distraction from long lines!
Remember to Enjoy the Moment Yourself
The holidays are stressful enough the way it is. Then we add on our cranky, tired, beautiful, amazing kiddos, and it can provide for ugly crying and mass amounts of wine.
In the middle of all of this however, we as mom’s have to remember to put aside our need for perfection, and enjoy the moment. Kids putting all the ornaments in the same one square ft. of the tree while leaving the rest empty? Toddler refuse to sit with Santa and instead is throwing the worlds largest temper tantrum? Was the baby ready for bed an hour before your made it to the Christmas lights and is now screaming in the backseat of the car?
Soak it all in momma. Smile, laugh, enjoy your moments with your family. They may not all be perfect, but they are crafted specifically for you and yours, and you will never get these moments back.
Therefore, take them in. Spend less time stressing over perfect Christmas traditions and more time enjoying. At the end of the night, if you have to enjoy the entire bottle of wine to make it better so be it, but enjoy these moments for what they are. Kill the stress even more by picking up a HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Tray before your event to keep everyone snack happy so you can enjoy your moment in peace!
How do you Cut Down on Stress with the Kiddos during the Holidays?
Have any tips or tricks to help a momma out? Let me know in the comments below!