10 ways to stress-free festivities

Parenting tips by Claire HalseyThe holiday season is a special time of year for families, whatever festivities you celebrate, here are some simple tips to help maintain the magic, written by Claire Halsey, author and parenting expert

Top Tip 1
Shop and drop
Don’t shop `til you drop. Order groceries and gifts online and have them delivered – or if you don’t have the internet at home, avoid the crowds by shopping at less busy times.

Top Tip 2
Resist fads
Spend wisely. How often have you stretched your budget to buy the latest `must have’ toy, only to find your child playing with the box it came in?


Top Tip 3
Take it easy
Have a big clear up in advance then forget the housework. Let your house be messy, noisy and cluttered. Give the vacuum cleaner a holiday too!



Top Tip 4
Realistic expectations
Avoid disappointments by talking with your children about the kind of gifts they can expect. Make it clear which ones are too expensive. Remember, they don’t expect to get everything they ask for!

Top Tip 5
Have a schedule
Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Eid or the Jewish festival Channukah, make a plan for the day. Keep pestering down by telling your children what time they can open their presents, when guests will arrive or when the meal will be served.


Top Tip 6
Out and about
Get away from the hustle and bustle of family gatherings by taking your child out to get some fresh air. You’ll be the only ones in the park, so they won’t have to wait for the slide or swings.

Top Tip 7
Dare to be different
If you’re not celebrating Christmas, talk this over with your children. This helps them explain to their friends why they’re doing things a little differently. The holidays are a great time for families to be together, so plan some special activities whether you’re celebrating or not.

After the presents are opened

Top Tip 8
Time to play
Enjoy visiting family and friends this season, but do leave time for your children to play with the new toys they’ve waited so long to open. If you visit away from home bring their new favourites along so they don’t feel they’re missing out on play time.

Top Tip 9
Together time
Remember that your time is a gift too. Extra time spent with your children is better than any present you can give.

Top Tip 10
Nobody’s perfect
Treasure your mistakes. In later years, your children will love to tell the story of the time the dinner got burned or the presents got muddled up! These will become happy family memories, causing a giggle every year.


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