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How To Manage Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Unfortunately, it can also be the most stressful time of the year. From shopping to juggling families and trying to please everyone, managing the facets of Christmas can be quite stressful. Here are some ideas from fellow readers on how to manage it all.

Family Time
Veronica said: "Every year my husband and I alternate families for the holidays. One year we do his family for thanksgiving and mine for Christmas, and then the next year we swap. It helps not to have to visit everyone for every holiday with three kids! 

If we aren't in our own home for Christmas we do our own little family Christmas before we leave for our road trip. We take the day off work, open presents, cook ham, and eat pie. It makes it so we don't have to use up room in the car for presents. It also let's us make our own family memories, and focus on enjoying the traditions of family members while we visit in their homes."

Stephanie said: "We discuss logistical plans in October, before all the emotions of the holidays set in. The rotation is pretty set (with priority going to any event with our grandparents as our time with them is limited), but it's still worth discussing to ensure we're both on the same page."

Gift Giving
Leigh said: "I just have 2 things I've figured out over the years in regards to gift giving. First, if you can buy or ask for toys that add to a toy set you already own, it makes storage easier and also renews interest in the old set (for example, new toy food for a play kitchen, new Lego set to eventually add to the bin of legos, accessories or clothes for dolls, etc). Second, if you aren't traveling, empty suitcases are a great place to hide gifts from kids 

Kelley said: " As for as gifts for my girls, we give 4 presents: a want, a need, something to wear, and something to read. I love its simplicity and it keeps this momma who loves to shop and give gifts from spending too much and going crazy with gifts 

Carrie said: "We set aside money every month of the year in our "Christmas Envelope" and we still try to keep things simple. 

We do the four gifts (want, need,wear, read) and we typically have 1 shared gift from Santa and stockings. 

For stockings, we typically do: socks, undies, new toothbrush, and leftover Halloween candy that I purposefully save!" 

Kathy said: " 2 thoughts.
1. experiences as gifts- trip to legoland or pedicure or aquarium etc

2.consider number of gifts from santa- if santa at your house gives 3 gifts but santa gives sally next door 20, does santa like sally more?
we feel the heavy majority of gifts should be from parents."

Lowering Stress
Emily said: "Start early!! December is always busy and I hate feeling stressed & not being able to enjoy it so I try to start shopping early, do some baking & freeze it, etc."

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