It’s that time of year again. The back-to-back holidays and all the festivities! But when you’re new to town, where do you go and who do you “holiday” with? Or if you’ve recently added a new little human to your family, how do you handle the hustle and bustle? One can easily become overwhelmed with school, work, church and organizational gatherings this time of year. When can you sit back and enjoy the pumpkins and peppermint and Holiday Spirit?
These 5 tips can help you manage the shorter days, longer nights, and enjoy the seasonal happenings more than ever.
1. Plan and Execute
If there’s one thing I love about the Las Vegas Valley, it’s that there is something fun for your family happening every single weekend. This is a chance to get outdoors in much cooler weather, and right before the Winter chill visits. The months of November and December have so many fun and free activities. From food festivals to pumpkin picking to decorated venues, Santa visits and Holiday lights, Vegas has got it all and more. Make a wish list of activities and execute a few of your top choices. Inviting a friend or two will create an instant playdate!
2. Give or Make Memories
When your children are at the age where they understand and enjoy the holidays, it can be the perfect time to take advantage of creating memories. Start a new tradition of baking goods for your friends and neighbors. Decorate pumpkins, Thanksgiving place settings, make gingerbread houses, or ornaments. Buy a family trip for the holidays. A trip back home (or somewhere new) during the holiday breaks will be a treasured memory for years to come. My family purchases season passes to a water park as our Christmas presents. When April rolls along, we get to enjoy our Christmas gift all throughout the summer together! Black Friday is your friend.
3. Make New Friends
You are not alone! There are other parents feeling lost in a new place without close friends or family nearby. The power of social media, Facebook groups, Meetup.com and parenting sites offer chances to form friendships with people in the same walk of life. I have personally developed lifelong friendships through social media groups. Planning to meet at a public place offers security as well as relieves the awkward pressures of that initial meet. Take a chance! Life is better with friends. Reach out to old ones. Invite new ones into your life.
4. Relive Your Childhood
Let the season evoke your own childhood memories. Classroom parties, family gatherings, gifts, Charlie Brown specials, and more. Share or recreate memories with your own family. Reach out to friends, trade stories over laughs and hot drinks while the children frolic nearby. Enjoy the holidays through the lens of a child.
5. Do Less
Honestly, my favorite thing on the list is this very thing. The kids enjoy “no school November” and the time off in December for Winter break, and so do I. The weather is cooler and the kids can play outside. We all love the movies, so we plan movie days/nights either at home or at the theatre. Make time for sleepovers, housework catch up, and recharging for the new year. Bond with your new baby. Allow yourself to indulge in the holiday foods. Finish out the year strong.
This holiday season, I hope you find peace and joy. Remind yourself that it’s not the gifts, it’s the relationships and memories made.