Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Maybe on television and movies, but in real life, it can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming. We decided a long time ago to make sure Christmas is as low key as possible, and today I’m sharing some of the things we do in our house to make that happen.
1. Hit the snooze button.
We don’t set a wake up time for Christmas morning. Our kids are allowed to get up whenever they want, and we usually mozy on out of bed around 8:30 or so. Presents are always off limits until parents are up, but stockings are fair game. I am one grouchy mommy if I don’t get enough sleep, so getting up super early (especially after staying up late) is just not something that is good for anyone in our house.
2. Put DOWN the camera.
In this day of smartphones and tablets and Instagram, we spend so much time capturing life, that we often miss out on really experiencing it. Grab a few shots here and there during the day, but don’t go nuts with it. Don’t forget the value of recording a video either. Just a few seconds with each child telling their favorite gift of the year will definitely be treasured years down the road when they are grown and gone. Do you really need 600 pictures of Christmas day activities anyway?
3. Cheat on the breakfast.
Every year, I do a big “homecooked” breakfast buffet, complete with bacon, sausage, biscuits, eggs, grits, and more. I say “homecooked” because I only cook the stuff I absolutely have to. I buy precooked bacon and sausage, frozen pancakes and biscuits, anything that makes it quicker to get breakfast on the table. Some families just have a regular old cereal with milk breakfast, others do it up all fancy. Whatever your family does, figure out ways to make it easier on yourself.
4. Clean as you go.
While everyone is opening gifts, keep a garbage bag handy. After each gift is opened, have your child put the paper in the bag. Don’t wait until everything is opened and the room is trashed. Plus, disposing of paper as you go will help prevent small gifts and cards from being buried and then thrown away on accident.
5. Give up the unrealistic expectations and go with the flow.
Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean that your kids are going to be perfect. Kids get excited, and will probably be hopped up on excessive amounts of sugar. They may end up a little hyper and out of control at times, and may even argue with their siblings. Gasp! As long as it isn’t a huge matter of disrespect or something that is causing harm to another person, we just laugh it off and and let it go.
6. Be present.
Take the time to stop and just BE with your children. If you got some cool new tablet or phone for Christmas, wait until later to play around with it. Spend some time playing with your kids and letting them show you their new toys. And for crying out loud, leave social media alone during family time! I promise, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram will all still be there later. Seriously.