Five Tips for Keeping the Holidays Simply Joyful

By Bunmi on November 2nd 2011
It doesn’t take long after the Halloween decorations go into the compost heap for stores to start rolling out their holiday campaigns. All of a sudden, Christmas music can be heard everywhere. Thanksgiving plans start being set in stone. I for one, love the winter holidays. There’s a spirit of love in the air and in Montreal, late November/early December means SNOW!

When I first became a mom 5.5 years ago, I didn’t quite know how to fit my new baby into the busy winter routine. I didn’t realize how much marathon shopping, running all over the state to visit relatives, and my personal stress level impacted my little one.

Today, I’m a much calmer mom and feel more comfortable designing a holiday plan that not only works for me, but respects the needs of my children and brings out the joy of the holiday. There’s so much pressure for families to turn into Tasmanian devils, whirling and spinning about during this special season but there’s also a huge opportunity to show children the simple delights of this time of year.

Five Tips for Keeping the Holidays Simply Joyful

1. Honest Traveling: Don’t get on a plane or pack up the car to visit friends or family without asking one important question: “Do I really want to do this?”. There’s a lot of pressure to go on a world tour to pay respects during the winter months. Travel to places and visit people who will make the holiday sweeter without putting strain on your family. Your immediate family is your primary concern.

2. Remember that Money Doesn’t Equal Love: Children don’t need things, they crave attention and affection. Go easy on the mall this year and focus on either finding or creating yourself just a few truly meaningful tokens for your little ones that will truly add to their lives.

3. Decorate Your Home: Go on a walk with your kids and pick out pine cones, branches, beautiful leaves - anything that represents the season and use them to adorn your home. Create wreaths. Do holiday crafts and hang them in your hallways. Light candles and enjoy how their warm light adds to your home’s ambiance.

4. Make Homemade Gifts: There’s a huge emphasis on buying presents during this time of year. Use websites like Pinterst to find ideas for homemade gifts that the kids can help with! Jam, cookies, homemade soap… the opportunities are endless! Nobody can deny how wonderful it feels to receive and give something created with love.

5. Emphasize the Spirit of the Season: Our kids learn from watching us. If we sing that this is the “most wonderful time of the year” but act like “this is the most stressful time of the year,” they’ll pick up the latter message. Relax, say “no” to obligations that put strain on your home life, sing, enjoy meals together, tell stories about your childhood holiday memories, draw, pull out old photo albums. Have fun.

We hope that your holiday season is full of joy and love!