I feel like December is flying by! Christmas is only 17 days away and would you believe it if I told you I had still not shopped for my kids? The truth is, I’m a last minute type of person plus I order everything online so I have some time. We also don’t go all out for Christmas. First of all, we don’t have the money to go all out and second, we just don’t feel it’s necessary. This time of year is particularly hard with Addie because her birthday is right after Christmas. One thing Jake and I talked about from the time Addie was a little bitty baby was that the holidays could quickly become all about Addie and that it would be important, when she was old enough to take her to give back. Right now though we do our best to prepare her heart for Christmas. She’s a kid, she’s going to be a spastic ball of excitement that day. What kid isn’t? Knowing that though, I think it’s important that we discuss things before the festivities so she’s prepared.
1) It’s not all about gifts. Now that we’re in Florida, we only go to Jake’s moms on Christmas day. This makes it a little easier to keep her level headed. Remind them that this day is about family and just enjoying being together.
2) Give a time-frame on presents. We usually do presents after a late breakfast over there. I have found that if she knows that after breakfast is time for gifts, I don’t get asked a million and one times: “Is it time for gifts yet?” Not only does this keep Jake and I sane, it keeps Addie in the moment, enjoying the holiday.
3) Practice Thank-you’s ahead of time. I don’t like reminding Addie to say please or thank you in the moment because it embarrasses her. Usually she has no trouble being thankful but on days like Christmas, she gets excited and forgets. So we have a chat before we head over and we practice saying thank you. We do this exact same thing on Halloween.
4) Have a signal. This one’s new for us. During Thanksgiving we were all eating and I had Addie next to me. Usually she does great with people. She is very social and loves talking to anyone and everyone. But this year, I had made eye contact with her and she quietly told me she was nervous. I took her to the bathroom and asked her what was going on and she told me there were too many people around and it was too loud. She was anxious and overwhelmed. I told her next time to put her hand on my leg or get my attention some how so I could help her sooner. I felt awful. It’s easy for us as adults to just assume they will be fine but Addie gave me a reality check that day. She shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable in any situation and we have a plan now if it happens again.
5) Try to keep your normal routine as much as possible. Kids are likely to act out on days where excitement is at an all time high. We still try to make sure there is a quiet period in their day to unwind and recharge.
How do you prep your kids for Christmas day?