The holiday season is here, and you probably have a lot on your plate. From endless holiday shopping and class parties to winter breaks and sugary snacks from grandma, this time of year can be a little stressful for those of us with kids. That is why we wanted to bring you this guide to surviving the holidays with your little ones.
How to Survive the Holidays with Your Kids
Okay, so we all love our kids and creating life-long holiday memories is extremely important, but at times, things can get a little chaotic and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Well fellow parents, grab your eggnog and have a seat because we have some tips to help you get through the holidays with kids.
1. You Don’t Have to Do Everything
First and foremost there are a TON of holiday activities and events going on around Kansas City, most of which are fun and kid-friendly, but you don’t have to go to all of them.
To get the most out of the holiday season, we suggest picking one or two activities to do during winter break – outside of school parties and family gatherings – that 1. you can all enjoy, 2. will help release the energy the kids have built up from being indoors, and 3. don’t conflict with any other holiday plans.
If you are on a very tight schedule this holiday season, a great place to visit is Crown Center. Crown Center (pictured above) is great for families because they have a slew of things to do in one location like Santa’s Gingerbread Station (a fan favorite), ice skating, restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat, choirs singing Christmas carols, holiday shopping and more.
Picking places like Crown Center that offer a full-service holiday experience without odd business hours do double, triple, even quadruple duty when it comes to traditional holiday fun and won’t throw a wrench in your schedule.
2. Handling the Toy Situation
Chances are your kids already have more than enough toys, but they will probably receive more from relatives and family friends this year. We suggest having your children donate an old toy that they don’t play with anymore for every new toy they get. Now, we know that this is easier said than done. If your kiddo is having trouble letting go of that stuffed animal they haven’t played with in two years, explain to them that another little girl or boy that didn’t get any toys this year would give the toy a good home and play with it all the time.
3. Don’t Let the Sugar Rush Win
Sugary treats are a mainstay at almost every holiday party and family gathering which means that sugar rushes and tummy aches are also a mainstay during this time of year.
In an ideal world, sugar cookies, cakes, and candy would only be consumed after a large holiday meal and only one or two small treats would be eaten, but we live in a world where grandpa likes sneak the kids a cookie or two – or five – before dinner. You can try to mitigate the sugar rush by keeping kids well hydrated and making sure they eat plenty of food that isn’t packed with sugar, but even then it still might happen – especially if grandpa was successful at palming those cookies when you weren’t looking.
When you start to see the sugar rush coming on, try to find a physical activity for your kids to do. If the weather is half-way tolerable, have them go outside and play in the backyard (with supervision) or take a walk with them. If the weather is not tolerable, have a family dance party in the living room. You can also try playing a game that helps them focus and have fun. Just know that sugar rushes are sometimes inevitable, but there are things you can do to make them less challenging.
Take Time for Self-Care
The holiday season is all about giving and sometimes that means giving back to yourself. It is important to recognize when you need to take some time to relax. That relaxation could come from taking a warm bath, having some tea and reading a book, or meditating to calming music. No matter what self-care looks like to you, remember that you are human and every once in a while need a quiet break away from the holiday chaos.
During the holidays, there are moments when we all feel overwhelmed, overscheduled, and under pressure, but just remember that this is a magical time of year for your kiddos and you are creating memories that will last a lifetime together.