Warm holiday wishes from Oak Meadow!
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10 Ways to Keep the Holidays Simple
Guest post from our friends at Oak Meadow
1. Focus on the traditions you love most. Ask everyone in the family what they most enjoy at the holidays. Don’t forget your own wants and needs! Then let go of the traditions and opportunities that feel less central. Keeping your traditions within your means saves time, money, energy.
2. Plan ahead. Some people love a last-minute flurry of shopping, baking, crafting, and wrapping. Others find it overwhelming. Think ahead and plan to do what works best for your family.
3. Keep expectations realistic. This goes for both parents and children. Remember that your child will follow your lead, even if it outside pressures are competing for their attention. “In our family we do it this way…” Those are powerful words.
4. Balance social needs. Remember that not all family members have the same capacity for social engagement. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What about your children? Seek balance; everyone’s needs are important.
5. Value simple gifts. If your children are old enough to participate in gift-giving, encourage them to make gifts with their hands and from their hearts. Homegrown gifts, especially those made by children, can be the most treasured gifts received by loving friends and relatives. Simple is good!
6. Cultivate appreciation. Pause periodically for moments of gratitude, and invite your children to find reasons to thank others. Appreciation helps us feel good about the extra work we put in around the holidays, and hearing it from our children helps keep us going during this busy time of year.
7. Preserve routines. Honor the normal rhythms of your home. Even while you weave holiday fun into your schedule, keep the basic structure of your day intact as much as you can.
8. Be flexible. For most families, homeschooling allows for extra flexibility. Plan outings in the mornings when most are in school or at work, and travel when the roads are less busy.
9. Give yourself comfort and joy. Make self-care a high priority. Eat well, stay hydrated, get enough rest. Take quiet moments for reflection: Sip a cup of tea, walk in the crisp outdoors, light a candle, or play soft music to help center and calm everyone in the family.
10. Recover well. Plan some extra down time in the days following your biggest celebration to allow yourself and your children to recover. Take a break and restore your energy so that you’re ready to start the new year with full attention and commitment.
When in doubt, keep it simple! Happy holidays.