- Give the gift of family traditions - Kids will remember and value family traditions, not presents. Volunteer at a gift drive or food bank, bake cookies for friends or make decorations for the house.
- Take control of your time - The holiday season is a busy time of year. Make time to unwind and take care of yourself. Don't feel guilty about saying no to commitments that aren't important to you and your family.
- Don't do everything yourself - Involve kids in decorating and shopping. Ask for help from family and friends with babysitting and meals. Spend time and energy on what is important to you and your family.
- Let kids be kids - Kids need to let off energy, especially during an exciting holiday season. Give kids plenty of time to be themselves so they are more likely to show their best behavior when you need them to.
- Give within your budget - Don't overspend when giving gifts. The holidays and the New Year will be a lot happier without unnecessary financial stress.
- Be open with kids about difficult family situations - No family is perfect. Talk openly with kids about divorce, loss, and separation to reduce these emotional burdens during the holidays.
- Find support - Share your emotions and needs with a friend, family or the Parental Stress Line (1-800-632-8188). Hotline volunteers are nonjudgmental listeners available to support you 24-hours a day and can provide referrals to services in a caller's local area. No problem is too big or small for a parent to call.
Chris & Dan
P. S. We are grateful to the many readers and advertisers of our publications. Thank you for allowing us to enter your lives week after week since 1962.