Christmas suddenly takes on a new angle the moment you become a parent. Decorating your home can become stressful as you worry about little people causing a Christmas tree disaster and then there’s the added pressure to ensure it’s truly magical for everybody. Is it any wonder stress levels raise this time of year? Luckily MAM Expert Katie Hilton has some tips to save your sanity and keep our spirits up!
Don’t Be Over Ambitious
Unless you’ve got a team of helpers skip trying to make everything from scratch this year. Keep it simple; don’t worry about decorating everywhere or making homemade Christmas cards. Your family will understand.
Keep Present Buying Simple
Very young children appreciate the attention that comes with gift giving, but they probably don’t need as many presents as you think. In fact parents often find that their little ones get bored after opening just a few gifts, so you can store the unopened ones away for a future birthday.
You can buy everything you need online. The prices are often as good or if not better than you’ll find in the shops, and you’ll save yourself the stress of visiting a shopping centre with a little person in tow. Plus you won’t have to spend half an afternoon queuing at the tills or struggling to carry everything home.
Share the Workload
Invite your guests to bring starters or desserts to Christmas dinner instead of trying to do all the cooking and baking yourself. That way, everyone can feel involved and you don’t have to be slaving over a hot stove while everyone else is enjoying themselves.
Keep it Low-key
A trip to see the Christmas lights or a small family party may be all the excitement your child is ready for. Babies are oblivious as to just what the festivities are all about, so moderation is the key. While it’s nice for children to have an early memory of baking and tinsel hanging, they don’t need a whole month of it.
Make New Traditions
Try not to start family traditions that require too much time, space, effort or money. You want to be able to keep them going over the years, so focus on the simple ones that allow you to spend time together as a family. A walk is often a welcome relief on Boxing Day, or start family movie night on Christmas Eve in matching pyjama’s.
Go Easy on Yourself
Finding time for you can seem impossible at this time of year, but it’s important. Small children are very sensitive to a parent’s mood, so schedule some ‘me time’, even if it means getting out a pen and writing it into your diary! Do whatever something for yourself, whether it’s swimming, having coffee with a friend, reading a book or taking a bubble bath.
Finally, have an amazing festive season with your family and friends, however you choose to celebrate!