Here is my list of 12 Holiday Helper ideas for you, to support you in finding ways to honor both you and your values during the holidays.
This topic is dear to my heart as a working mom myself. When my children were small I put pressure on myself to make everyone else happy, create gifts and food from scratch, and try new recipes. I even went so far as to keep changing Christmas presents for my kids if I saw something they might like better! As much as I loved being creative and making the most of the season, the fact is I was tired and worn out. By Christmas I didn’t even feel like dressing up for dinner as I just wanted those extra 15 minutes to sit and do nothing.
There are wonderful memories from those earlier years and since then I have realized I could have been so much kinder to myself and allowed myself to ask for help and simply sit and enjoy the season more. Now my kids are older I make a point of spending as little time in the kitchen as possible during the holidays unless it is with my girls.
Housework & Cooking
- Plan food and housework in advance, online grocery shopping can really help as you can send anyone out to do to the pick-up.
- Hire a housecleaning service.
- Food – make it easy by coordinating fresh with frozen foods, have a potluck, and have part or all of the food catered.
- Plan healthy (easy!) snacks to munch on through hectic schedules to prevent the “hangry’s”. Keep snacks ready to go in individual servings in the fridge, for car travel, shopping and events.
- Delegate tasks such as setting the table, tidying the living room, putting away shoes at the front door, shopping, stirring pots in the kitchen – to your spouse, kids, relatives, and guests (this is how guests feel valued, then they don’t feel awkward standing around the kitchen while you run around talking and burning things).
- Assign someone else (this one is great for kids) to do the laundry, take care of pets, and do a 10 min tidy each evening. Remember to appreciate and praise them for doing their chores.
The Social Calendar
- Have a family meeting to talk about what everyone wants to see and do during the holidays. Edit it fiercely so you do not become overcommitted. Write down only what is most important to you on the calendar.
- Do not agree automatically to fun invites, check your calendar first, and talk to your family. It is always ok to say no to an invite and choose a quiet night at home, guilt-free.
Holiday Stress Relief
- Sit with a cup of tea and a notebook to write in. Ask yourself – how do you want to remember the holidays? What makes you laugh? Who do you want to spend time with (you included)? What regenerates your body, mind, and soul? What brings you comfort and reminds you of the magic of the holiday season?
- Keep kids fed on a regular schedule and assert regular bedtime as much as possible (this is not to be ignored – fed and rested children are far more agreeable compared those overtired, hungry, and high-on-sugar).
- Keep it fun and take breaks – take an hour, go outside with your kids to play in the snow, read stories, watch a movie, or play a board game. Nothing makes kids grumpier than being told to clean up, the company is coming and seeing mom stressed. Kids want mom to have fun too!
- Give yourself permission to enjoy the season, your family, and your faith. If you cook something and it burns it is totally ok. If somebody becomes sick and you have to cancel commitments it is totally ok. If the carpet doesn’t get vacuumed or the dog runs around the house with your underwear from the laundry hamper, have a good laugh!
Know you are rocking it this season, just for being you.
Happy Holidays from Bloom Content Design to you, your team, and your family!
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