As the end of the year comes round yet again, there’s an expectation for peace and good family time from we parents … and a desire for presents and sweets galore from the children! How do we come together in the compromise and make our shared year end a success of us all? Read on as I share my top seven tips—hope they’re helpful:
1. Get clear about what makes the holidays valuable: Make time to share what you remember about what made these time special in your childhood. It’s good to have an awareness of each other’s expectations. Remember that quality beats quantity and there’s no need to break the bank. Priorities games and conversation—it’s a great time to remind yourself of the past year’s successes.
2. Prepare and plan: Who are you going to send cards and gifts to? With more thought there can be more meaning—and if you’re really smart this can bring the price tag down too.
3. Create a good holiday ambiance at home: Take some time to make paper chains, cards, decorations for the tree, cinnamon-smelling fruits (if that’s your thing!). Make it a special time for you and your children to share. Again, these memories will last for your children and have benefits way beyond the latest Nintendo.
4. Have open negotiation with your children’s other parent about what’s the best design for the holidays: Get the children involved if they’re old enough and try to come to an agreement ahead of time. Where your children are younger, both parents would be smart to have a united message about what’s best for “sharing” holidays.
5. If you want to have company over the holidays, get together with friends or with other single parents (or with church if that’s your thing): It might not be what you’ve traditionally done, but there’s no need to be on your own on Christmas day if you want to have a bit more energy around. There’s no right or wrong way to do holiday itself. Get creative!
6. Make an occasion of the simple things: Relax in the afternoon with a great family movie and a glass of wine. Celebrate every moment.
7. Congratulate yourself as an amazing parent: Get your nails done, your hair done, have a massage, and a bit of pampering. Whatever it is—while you enjoy the treats remind yourself that you’ve been outstanding this year and your children are blessed to have you on their side.