How to Survive the Hustle & Bustle this Holiday Season

Were you watching TV on Halloween night?  I was and before the last of the trick-or-treaters went home I saw my first Christmas commercial.  When I was a little girl the holiday season didn’t begin until Thanksgiving night.  When the dishes were done and the leftovers put away; it was time to write your letter to the jolly old elf in the red suit.  It was sealed in an envelope and carefully taken to the Christmas Parade the following day to place in the special mailbox for all letters destined for the North Pole.

Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or New Years, here are some tips to help you and your family survive the season.

  • Set realistic expectations.  Magazine articles, television commercials, shows, and retail displays entice us to create “the perfect holiday.”  Don’t compare your holiday celebrations to those.  Your “perfect” celebration is what you and your family make it.
  • Take time for family.  Amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is good to take time to decompress.  Family is the most important part of the holidays so why not set aside time to spend with them?  Game night, a movie night at home with a big bowl of popcorn, ice skating, or taking a ride to see holiday lights followed by a cup of hot cocoa may be just what you and your family need to recharge.
  • Know when to say “No.”  Do you really need to bake eight different kinds of cookies for the cookie exchange, for the kids’ parties at school, and for the office party?   Simplify your plans.
  • Make your own traditions.  Sometimes the simplest of traditions can become the most meaningful.  Reading a favorite holiday story together, preparing a favorite meal or unpacking a beloved decoration all create holiday memories that become traditions.  If you think they aren’t meaningful to your children now, wait until they have children of their own. You will see some of your traditions being carried on in their homes.
  • Keep your normal schedules.  While this may seem unrealistic, you and your children will feel better if you maintain consistent sleeping schedules and eating habits.  Being sleep deprived and “sugared-up’ from all the goodies may leave everyone feeling irritable and less able to enjoy the holidays.
  • Remember others during the holidays.  Sharing a plate of cookies with a neighbor, giving to a food drive, or buying toys for less fortunate children will warm your heart as well as those who receive what you might think are the simplest of gifts.  Involve your children in the process of giving.  Moving beyond their personal “I want” lists helps children develop compassion for others and see the joy in giving rather than in always receiving.



About the Author:

Debbie Maguire joined the faculty of Centreville School, then known as Delaware Learning Center, over thirty years ago.   She has been involved in the school’s transitions from a PreK, K and first grade program to Centreville Layton School, now serving students from PreK through 12th grade. She has experience working with students from PreK through Middle School in a variety of teaching and administrative capacities.  Debbie earned a Bachelor’s of Music degree in education and a Master’s Degree in education with an emphasis in learning consultation and diagnostic work.   She presently serves as the Lower School Head and Lower School music teacher.



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