Well it seems as though I survived another holiday season. How? I’m not exactly sure…This Christmas flew by like usual, but it was a bit different. It was my first Christmas as a mom of a one year old.
Noble still does not get the concept of Christmas but, when I said, “who’s coming?” Eight out of ten times he would say “HO HO!” I know, it’s truly amazing. He’s probably a genius, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Now that I’m a mom, it feels like I get to go back in time. I get to relive the magic of Christmas though the eyes of my child. It’s new and exciting again.
But it goes by in such a flash. Weeks of a planning, preparing and stressing and with a blink, it’s over.
Thinking about this and the fact that I actually survived it, made me reflect on the biggest lessons I learnt this year. These are my top five tips for surviving the holidays with a one year old.
For most of us there is truly something special about Christmas. Vacation, spending time with family and friends and the soft glow of Christmas lights. All these things makes this time of year seem almost magical. We wait for it all year and then, it’s over before we know it.
Take the time to enjoy the moment. Appreciate what is happening right now. There are only a handful of Christmas mornings that you get with your child when they truly, truly believe in the magic of Christmas.
Be present. Enjoy the moment. Be grateful.
Don’t overdo the shopping
At this stage in life you could wrap up cans of beans, and the clothes he has hanging in his closet that are still too big and he would have no idea. It’s not about the presents. This year we donated money to a charity we support, we bought Noble books and a few things he actually needed, that was it. We also sent out a memo to the grandparents and aunt to minimize the shopping. Too many toys quickly becomes overwhelming, especially at this age when most days the Tupperware cupboard is his favourite place to play.
Set limits and stick to them.
Have a healthy holiday
Portion control. Moderation. Hydration. Exercise. Don’t skip meals. Eat a snack before you go to a party. Don’t stand beside the buffet table. Fill up on veggies. Focus on family. Blah, blah, blah. We have all read the “diet tips” for surviving the holidays. These are all important tips but it’s the HOLIDAYS!!!
Making healthy choices is hard for everyone during the holidays. Don’t fall off the wagon because it’s December and it seems everywhere you look there is a cute Christmas cookie or fancy cocktail with your name on it. Look at your schedule and make a plan. Decide when you will pass on the spiked punch and when you will say yes to the sweet treats.
A little bit here and there is much more manageable than thinking you are going to spend the holiday’s drinking water and eating carrot sticks. Don’t dive into the cookie plate. Decide which days you are going to eat like Rudolph and which are going to be a bit more Santa inspired.
Have fun. Stay heathy. Let go of the guilt.
Soften the schedule
There are parties, people coming over and family festivities planned. If nap time is pushed its okay. If your child is one that can’t get out of a routine, build the plans around their schedule but if everything does not go according to plan, do your best to go with the flow.
So often we spend our lives scheduling and planning and getting ready for what’s next that we don’t let things unfold. The holidays are a perfect time to slow down (see above) and go with the flow.
Let it flow. Let it flow. Let it flow. Often the best memories come from the moments when we had no plans or pre-existing expectations.
Remember the reason for the season
As the Grinch said, “maybe Christmas does not come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little but more.” We are ALL guilty of getting caught up in the shopping and the to-do list. It’s SO important to slow down, enjoy the moment and continuously remind yourself what Christmas is all about.
For different people it means different things. For me it’s about being with my friends and family. It’s making memories I will cherish forever. It’s enjoying the moment. It’s being grateful that I get to watch it through Noble’s eyes. It’s taking part in our family traditions, while also creating new ones.
Think about what Christmas means to you. When the guilt or stress of the holiday season sneaks up, remind yourself of what is most important.
How did your holidays go? What tips do you have for surviving the season? I would love to hear about your experiences below.
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