Simplifying the Holidays – December 2011

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 of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “The key to having a successful holiday is to plan ahead and be organized.”

“By simplifying the holidays and setting a schedule of what you need to do such as decorating the house, trimming the 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 Your Children 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 50 dozen, you are certain to frustrate yourself and your children.”

“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 instead of 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 right now, and you will save time, frustrations, 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 will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on  Simplifying the Holidays” on Thursday, December 8th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their South Milwaukee Center, located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic shopping season during the holidays, that often the true meanings of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter celebrations get lost.  Come to this Family Fun Night for a few ideas to help us all slow down, relax, and enjoy the spirit of gratitude and giving this season.  Activities will include playing with red playdough and holiday cookie cutters, making bell ornaments, and wrapping gifts in the dramatic play area. In addition to the activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us! Registration is required. Please call 414-643-5070 to register.