This morning I would like to welcome Michelle Covington to be my first guest blogger! She has some terrific ideas that I want her to share with you as you think about preparing your family for the holidays. It may seem a bit early…but it is coming soon, and I think your family will benefit from them!! Welcome, Michelle!!
That Fall Frame of Mind
Written by guest blogger Michelle Covington
It’s that time of year. The kids are in school, the weather is getting cooler, and if you’re somewhere other than Texas, the leaves are probably changing color. For most of us, the months of October through January pass by in a blur of constant activity. We have so much to do and prepare for with the increase of school activities and slew of holiday preparations on top of already busy schedules.
Christmas, that blessed and stressed season, is already creeping up on us. Walmart’s holiday section has made sure we’ve been aware of it for at least the past month. So, how do you plan to avoid stress during this fall season?
Not sure? Here are a few tips:
1) Purchase Christmas presents early and online. This will take enormous stress off of the season and prevent those frantic last minute gift-scapades. Simple Truths materials happen to make GREAT Christmas presents for parents of young kids. Now, buy 10 or more Simple Truths discussion guides for $10.99 each, or 5 or more Simple Truths complete packages for $49.99 each.
2) Let the kids help with those fall and Christmas decorations. Who doesn’t love a hand-print turkey mural or a popcorn garland? Plus, it will keep them busy and give them a sense of pride and inclusion in the season. You may even find some teachable moments.
3) Take occasional self-assessment breaks. No matter how many things you have to do, take a moment for yourself, drink a pumpkin spice latte and make sure you’re not over-stressing.
4) Exercise. It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise is a great stress-reliever. It’s also the first thing we tend to scrap when we get busy, but you’ll be much happier and healthier taking as little as 10 to 15 minutes to get those endorphins pumping.
5) Don’t be afraid to delegate. No matter how much you may want to do everything yourself, handing over the reins on certain things can be a mental-health necessity. No one expects you to be superwoman and most of the time friends and family are more than happy to help out.
6) Prioritize. Focus on what is important. When you find yourself getting too busy, take a minute to decide if it’s really necessary to hand-stitch Christmas outfits for your children. Chances are, there’s something on your to do list that can wait until later, or be scrapped altogether.
7) Don’t be a perfectionist. This can be a tough one for some of us. But remember, enjoying your friends and family during this time is much more important than having every piece of tinsel perfectly placed. People will appreciate the quality time you spend with them much more than they will appreciate your immaculate, perfectly decorated house. Remember, it’s not a contest.
8) Keep gifts for your kids simple. Think about what you gave your kids for Christmas last year. Can you remember what all of those gifts were? Can they remember? Do they still use them? Consider only giving your child one gift from each person in the family or selecting a theme such as 4 gifts – something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.
9) Know when to say no. Don’t feel like you have to attend every event, party, and activity you and your kids are invited to. Everyone understands that the holidays are busy, and the most important thing is enjoying your time with family and friends. Frantically running from one thing to the next can interfere with your enjoyment factor.
10) Plan ahead. Lots of stress can be avoided by planning out a holiday schedule. Designate gift shopping days, decorating days, baking days… If something is important, put it on the schedule. If it’s not important enough to schedule in advance, it’s probably not important enough to worry about.