It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And also the most stressful. Shopping, decorating, planning, traveling, visitors—and when you have kids, there are pageants, recitals, crafts, and Christmas breaks.
You can’t eliminate all of the stress, but with these simple holiday planning tips, you can reduce it.
Tip #1: Start Your Holiday Planning and Shopping Early
Everyone says it, but no one ever does it. That being said, the advantages of getting your holiday shopping done early are numerous! The stores are better stocked before the holiday shuffle, and they’re not nearly as busy as they will be at Christmastime. You’re getting the better-trained, more permanent staff instead of the temps hired for the holidays. And you aren’t as busy with all of those other holiday to-dos.
As a former toy store owner, one reason for not shopping early that I always heard from parents was, “I don’t know what my kids want.” Too many times, parents would wait for the kids to make a list, often based on what they saw on TV or online.
Our solution was simple. We encouraged parents to bring their kids in for a “looking trip.” Explain to your kids that you are going in just to see what they “like,” not what they “want.”
(Pro Holiday Planning Tip: take a picture of the item the child shows you. It makes it easier for you and the staff to find that item later when you go back to buy it.)
Tip #2: Rotate the Toys
This seems like a silly tip to reduce holiday stress, but trust me on this one. One of the biggest frustrations, when you’re swamped with things to do, is when your kids come to you saying they are bored. Putting some toys away and pulling out other ones, however, solves a few problems.
First, with “new” toys in front of them, children often gain a renewed interest in playing, keeping them occupied while you bake, decorate, or plan.
Second, you’ll know which toys are your kids’ favorites.
Third, you’ll know which toys can likely go away after the holidays to make room for all the new stuff Santa is bringing.
Tip #3: Get the Kids Involved
If you did your holiday planning and shopping early, you’ll have more time for decorating and baking. Now, you can get your children involved. Let them help decorate the house. Let them help bake the cookies. Let them help plan the meals.
This is one of the best holiday stress tips because it is a learning opportunity for your children. Plus, you’re building memories they will cherish their entire lives. By making chores more fun for everyone, you can later turn these chores over to your children completely when they’re older.
Rock the Holidays with These Stress-Busting Tips
We can’t eliminate all of the stress of the holidays, but by doing these three things, you can surely make things a little bit easier. Once you have your holiday stress handled, you can enjoy the season and spend time with the people who matter most: your family.
Phil Wrzesinski, National Sales Manager, HABA USA
Phil, like his grandfather and father before him, has been in the toy industry his entire life, helping thousands of parents make the best choices of toys for their kids.