If you have kids, then you know exactly how many days are left until Christmas. You likely know how many minutes are left! There’s a lot of pressure on Mom to make everything perfect for everyone. Most of us will feel frazzled at least once this week. (I see you laughing…if you’re more like me, it’s going to be many times!)
Here are some last minute reminders for a less stress Christmas. (Notice that I’m not going to promise you stress free since things are bound to pop up!) Check off the list now while there is still time to take care of these things.
Are batteries included?
Double check your gifts and be sure that you have extra batteries for those “batteries not included” items. It’s not much fun for the person unwrapping a gift to not be able to use it.
While it might be a little risky to order batteries from Amazon now, do learn about any toys or gifts coming to your home that are known battery eaters. You might find it advantageous to order some rechargeable batteries. We use them in game controllers and other toys that go through batteries very quickly, and we’ve saved a pretty penny over the past several years due to this.
(This tip brought to you by a desperate midnight Christmas Eve run to a local gas station to pay triple price for their last set of batteries once upon a time.)
Got your attitude of gratitude?
Even though our kids have heard the speech every year, I find that they need extra reminders of proper gift receiving behavior. I remind them to:
- Be appreciative. No matter what gift they receive, whether it’s something they don’t like, something they already own, or their favorite toy ever…I tell my kids to smile at the person who gave it to them. Give them a sincere thank you. You aren’t just thanking that person for the gift; but also for thinking of you, and for putting in the time, money, and effort to get the gift. Never say anything that would make them think you aren’t sincerely appreciative.
- Don’t open the packaging! Any kid gets excited and wants to play with their toys right away. I require mine to get parental permission first. This way they don’t open a gift that we already have and can then return. They also aren’t allowed to open gifts with small pieces that might be lost in wrapping paper or swallowed by baby cousins.
Check your list twice! (And a fix for that gift you weren’t expecting.)
I sometimes worry that I will have somehow forgotten to get a gift for someone, or that a person will give me a gift that I wasn’t anticipating. I do think that it’s ok to not buy for every person you know. But I sometimes keep a small gift on hand for this sort of occasion. I have kept a simple version of my Frugal Box of Teas to gift. Or I’ve regifted gift cards that I never used (for whatever reason).
Choose to release the stress.
If you are finding that you have overextended yourself, let things go. Fun traditions are not very fun if Mom is so stressed out that no one can really enjoy them.
Choose a mantra or, better yet, a prayer that you can turn to when you are feeling stressed. I find that trying to remain calm when I’m feeling stressed rarely works, but when I intentionally try to find the joy in the situation (even if it’s just something tiny!) I usually feel at least a little better.
Remember the reason for the season!
Be sure that amidst the hustle and bustle this week that you are making time to talk about the nativity story with your children. Passing on a love of Jesus is the best gift you can give your kids, and it will outlive any other gift you could give them this year.
Have a less stress and very Merry Christmas!
The next time you feel frazzled, remember that not every small detail is worth it. Relax and look for the joy.
What do you tend to forget to do for Christmas each year? Do us a favor and give us all a helpful reminder!