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In many of the moms’ facebook groups this past week, I’m seeing pictures of the present spread for their kids…and so much worry about “is this enough”? Parents are feeling bad if they don’t have the money to spend on a plethora of presents.
Let me assure you - my kids are JUST now starting to take stock in what / how much they are getting. I actually wrapped up a tissue box when my daughter was 2 years old for her…and she LOVED it….pulling each and every tissue out, me stuffing them back in, repeat! 😜
What I think is MORE important in creating memories and joy is simply QUALITY TIME together.
So I put together my top 3 tips to help you give the gift of quality time to your family this season.
Which one resonates with you the most ❓
Tip #1: Don’t pack your schedule
Be picky about what you say “yes” to in order to allow for space to just BE as a family. You actually don’t HAVE to go to every party or gathering you are invited to.
The questions I ask myself to help me decide to go/not go to certain things are:
✅ Do I think myself or my kids will have fun / enjoy whatever the thing is?
✅ Is connecting with these groups of people / person limited to this timeframe (because they are in from out of town, etc)?
✅ Will going to this event strengthen / maintain relationships that are important to me?
And know that you ARE allowed to say no….even if you DON’T have something else that conflicts it on your schedule. You are not required to give a reason. ➡️➡️➡️
“Thank you for inviting us, but unfortunately we can’t make it this year. Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas to you and your family!”
When you DON’T pack your schedule, you have time to spontaneously cozy up with hot chocolate and watch the holiday classics (we already started with Home Alone this weekend😁 ), do a puzzle, or play a board game together.
Which brings me to tip #2…..
Tip #2: Create a standby list
I usually have a couple things “in my back pocket” to suggest in downtimes if we are getting a little stir crazy that would be fun for me AND the kids.
For example, I bought one of those just “put together with icing” gingerbread houses that is on standby….and a new puzzle as mentioned above. And I kind-of watch the weather just to see if perhaps some snow fun might be included in the schedule (cause we actually ALL love that).
All of these 👆 are things that, at this point in my family’s life, are usually enjoyable for everyone.
So, think of maybe 3 fun family things that you could have “on standby” that suit YOUR family at this point. Remember these are things NOT tied to a schedule. They can be done basically at any point in time….when you have time and it feels right.
Tip #3: Adjust your expectations and abandon when necessary
Sometimes things we THINK are going to be fun…just aren’t….for any number of reasons. Maybe someone is just kind of cranky because nap time was missed, or we stayed up too late watching Home Alone 2, 3, and 4 😏
Or the idyllic image of you all decorating the gingerbread house with music in the background turns into the kids fighting about which toppings are going on the chimney.
Either way - give yourself permission to just ABANDON.
Not everything is going to go as planned - especially when schedules and routines are disrupted. And if you all need a little break from each other - that’s OK.
You are STILL creating amazing small holiday memories and joy, especially if you are not stressing about presents, and instead choosing to BE present and have those QUALITY moments….trust me, THOSE are what you will remember still in January and beyond.❤️
For my full guide of how to be present with your family without sacrificing your career ambitions, click here.
And I sincerely hope you have a JOYFUL holiday season.