Surviving the Holidays with Little Kids
Shopping with Children
Shopping with children is often a challenge, especially
during the holiday rush. Some tips to make the
shopping trip more enjoyable/successful are:
Plan the trip limiting the number of stores you
visit to two to three.
- Limit the number of people for whom you
purchase gifts to a very few and think about what
you are looking for before you leave the house.
Talk about gift ideas and budget with the children
to eliminate inappropriate choices and prevent
debates in the store.
- Shop when stores are least likely to be busy so that children are not overwhelmed by crowds. (When
you are short and can see mostly knees and almost
nothing on the counters, shopping is not fun.)
- Locate bathrooms BEFORE you need them.
- Shop when children are at their best: fed and
- Include a light lunch or snack as part of the special
- Build in time to do what the children want such as
visit a special store or see Santa Claus.
Developing Family Traditions
Traditions and rituals are an important part of
everyday life, but they become more apparent during
the holiday season. Special foods, games, story
telling, decorations, parties, visiting family, friends
and neighbors, religious celebrations, giving and
receiving, shopping, and many other topics come to
mind when one thinks about special activities that help
make the holiday special. Developing family
traditions can convey a sense of belonging and
security to children.
Realistic Expectations about Gifts
Children who think only about gifts can feel terribly
let down when the holidays are over. Their new toys
may not be all they thought they would be after
they’ve waited for them for so long.
Talk with your children about gifts and your own
sense of values about the meaning of the holidays; then plan family activities in which gifts play only
one part. Plan fun things to do before and after you
open gifts. That way, gifts start to take their rightful
place in the whole of the holiday season. Shift the
focus from receiving to giving by making special
treats or doing special favors for neighbors and
friends, a food pantry, or an elderly shut-in.
Best Wishes for Your Holiday Season
Families with young children must balance
holiday activities while meeting the needs of their
children. With advance planning, you can help your
child enjoy your special family traditions and
reduce holiday stress.
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