Are you finding yourself dreading the holidays, and they’ve only just begun? If so, you’re not alone, and it doesn’t have to be this way.
According to Beverly Anderson, executive director for Ebenezer Child Care Centers, “The key to having a successful holiday is to plan ahead and be organized.”
“By setting a schedule for decorating the house, trimming your tree, purchasing gifts, making cookies, sending out holiday cards, and wrapping gifts, you can easily see what needs to be accomplished. Believe it or not, it can all be done without stress, so that you are able to enjoy the holidays.”
Getting the Kids Involved
Anderson also suggests that you turn some of your holiday traditions into activities your children can help with such as putting stamps on holiday cards or even making a few special holiday cards.
The thing to remember, according to Anderson, is that a child’s attention span is limited. If you want your children to help you with something, and you don’t want to get stressed out, don’t expect them to spend more than 20 minutes assisting you.
“Your children will love helping decorate a dozen or two cookies, but if you expect them to decorate 20 dozen, you are certain to frustrate yourself and your children,” says Anderson.
“You also need to be realistic with your expectations,” says Anderson. “If your children are helping you with one of these projects, you have to realize it won’t be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be. Nobody is expecting that. It’s the fact that you took the time to show you care.”
Shopping Made Easy
To help take the headache out of shopping, Anderson suggests shopping online when your children are in bed versus taking them into busy stores where they can easily be over stimulated.
“There’s nothing worse than having to park at the end of a busy parking lot and drag your children into a busy store with waiting lines where you know your children are going to become easily frustrated,” says Anderson.
With the Internet, that whole scene can easily be avoided, and you can shop in peace. Many websites are even offering free shipping during the holidays season, and you will save time, frustration, and gas money in the process.
Keeping your Family Healthy Over the Holidays
Anderson also suggests that you try very hard over the holidays to make sure your children are staying on their schedules and getting enough sleep each night.
“One reason why so many people get sick over the holidays is that they spread themselves too thin, then they get stressed out and run down,” says Anderson. “Don’t let this happen to your family.”
“You can avoid this situation by simply selecting a few activities for your family that will be meaningful and making sure you are all getting proper rest.”
Anderson recommends that, instead of feeling like you have to chase around to every scheduled activity, you stay home and read stories under the Christmas tree with your children.
“It’s a magical activity that helps everyone unwind during the holidays as well as a tradition your children will always remember.”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.