The holiday invites are pouring in. There’s the Nutcracker. That white-elephant party with the neighbours. The ugly sweater thing. The potluck for your kid’s basketball team. Breakfast with Santa. Shoot, did you forget Aunt Mildred’s gingerbread-house-making workshop?
Hey, before you go any further, get out your calendar right now and add some white space. Days where you’re scheduled to go absolutely nowhere, do absolutely nothing, and see absolutely no one. It’s easy to get super ambitious early in the month – it’s the holidays, for goodness sake, cue the Mariah Carey song and play Elf on repeat! – but it’s also easy to get burned out, overwhelmed and resentful. Too many activities makes kids anxious (and cranky and whiny), too. It’s important to physically add the space, otherwise you’ll see a peek of free time and say, “Of course, I can make it to your reindeer petting zoo! How can I not?”
How do you decide what to skip? Think of the big things you value: Perhaps family, friends (like real friends – you don’t need a holiday reunion with every single person you knew in high school), or your faith. Then choose the events that support those values. And yeah, if there’s an Elf screening, definitely go.