As I write this, Christmas tunes are playing and everyone is making their lists and
checking them twice. Shoppers are busy trying to find the "perfect gift" for those they love. While it is fun to shop for, wrap and exchange gifts, I believe the most precious gift we can give is the gift of our time! Whether it’s a one-on-one activity with each child or a special night out with our partner, that time together is priceless.
In this busy time of year, you may be wondering how to squeeze in one more thing on your to-do list. My thought, take off something that won’t bring you joy and put on something that will.
It is okay to say no to some social gatherings. If someone asks you to take on a project, it’s perfectly fine to say, “As much as I’d love to, it just isn’t a good time for me to take that on right now.”
Setting boundaries around your top priorities (your health, your marriage, and your family) is necessary for you to be the best version of yourself for those you love.
So, how do you add one-on-ones with the kids with all the chaos of preparing for the holidays?
My suggestion: Remember the K.I.S.S. Approach (Keep It Super Simple)!
1. Have your kiddo help you bake the cookies you need for this week’s party. Put on the holiday tunes and sing some duets as you measure, mix, and bake.
2. Have a “helper” when you’re wrapping family gifts to go under the tree. Things don’t have to be perfectly wrapped, let go of that control and just have fun with it. Maybe your little one can pick out specific paper for each sibling or hold little pieces of tape on her fingers as you tape things down.
3. Reading at bedtime is always enjoyable. Take a trip to the library and allow your kiddo to select holiday-themed books for bedtime this month.
Think about making purposeful memories, not perfect ones!
Time spent together as a family is important as well! You could decorate cookies, drive around to see neighborhood lights, or build forts and read stories. If you’re in the NW Columbus, Ohio area, a quick free option is to drive through the Lucy Depp Lights. (They do take donations for the animal shelter, so please donate if you can to help the pups and kitties!)
It's not only about the kids!
Of course, because I’m a couples coach I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you and your partner to take some time together. Again, Keep It Super Simple.
Tuck the kids in, pull out some board games, and enjoy a quiet night at home with the tree lights on and some good holiday music in the background. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just make sure to turn off the screens and enjoy each other’s company. (We did this a few nights ago, some jazzy Christmas tunes and rounds of Chinese checkers. It was so relaxing!)
I’m going to close by giving you some advice. Those kiddos are with you for a very short time, make the most of every moment you can! Set boundaries and make your health, your marriage, and your family the top priorities. The gift of time you give your kids will leave memories that last a lifetime. For additional support and strategies for your family's success, click here.