The Lazy Parent’s Guide to Holiday Cheer

Love this! Ways to get the focus in your holidays more on fun and less on doing everything in some picture-perfect way, with good tips for making that happen.

Okay, let’s be clear: I’m not calling you lazy. You’re a mom or a dad, and I know you work hard every day, and I do, too. The fact is, when I see the effort so many families put into their holiday preparations on top of everything else they have to do, I feel lazy. Or maybe the more honest way to put it is I don’t want to do all that.

In my house, we celebrate Christmas, and I love Christmas. I love the decorations and twinkling lights, and I love the spirit of the season, but I hate doing the decorating, and I especially hate putting it all away at the end of the season. I’m not a crafty person, and I’m not a great cook either. So it’s easy to let myself feel more pressure than holiday cheer.

I hope I’m not alone and there are a few other moms out there that feel the same way. If there are, I put this list together with you in mind, but please consider it simply a brainstorm on some possible ways to make the holidays less stressful. If you have better ideas, go with that!

  1. Do what you want to do and know that’s enough. Your kids want a cheerful mom this holiday season, not a stressed mom. So make a list of the things you enjoy doing during the holiday season, stick to that, and stop feeling like you need to do more.

  2. Don’t look at Pinterest. Just don’t even go there. If you feel like you can go there and make it out alive, then okay, but don’t go there, if you know it’s not good for you.

  3. Take the pressure off making Christmas cards this year by picking the most recent, doable snapshot of your kids, and using a template at your favorite card maker. You don’t have to have a designer look every year. No one will remember it by next year anyway.

  4. If your kids like crafts, the easiest craft is making snowflakes. You can use them for ornaments or hang them from doorways. They’ll really brighten up your house. Here’s a good tutorial for making snowflakes.

  5. Turn on some holiday music. Music does wonders for the soul, and it’s sure to put everyone into the holiday spirit. And it’s as easy as plugging your iPod into some speakers.

  6. When it’s time to decorate, pull all those boxes out of the attic, open them, and tell the kids to have fun. Even if things aren’t exactly “properly placed,” you’ll have fun seeing what they come up with, it’ll make a great memory, and it takes the pressure off of you.

  7. Cooking is not my favorite pastime, but my kids enjoy helping me bake. Instead of feeling like I have to bake lots of items for gifts, I pick one or two treats to do with my kids and that’s it.

  8. I’m also not a crafty person. Hearing about all the families who make their gifts for each other makes me feel a bit guilty, but that’s just not me, and it doesn’t have to be you either, if you aren’t into it. So remember that giving with your heart doesn’t have to equal giving with your hands.

  9. Play games. The purpose of the holiday season is to spend more time with loved ones, right? Pull out some games and have fun together!

  10. Get outside. Bundle up and spend some time in nature. It’s a great way to spend time together and studies show that it’s great for lowering your stress levels, which most people need this time of year!

What do you do to simplify the holiday season?

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