How are you hanging in there? Got your shopping done? Getting ready to travel? Are you surviving the holiday chaos?
I feel like every year around this time is especially chaotic for me because our wedding anniversary is two days before Christmas. Oh why oh why did we do this to ourselves?
Getting away to celebrate before kids was a piece of cake, but after, it has become quite the challenge.
I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to help get everything checked off my list so I can enjoy both our anniversary and Christmas. This year is our 10th anniversary and originally I had thought we’d have some kind of vow-renewing ceremony or something, but the time has flown by and a lot of the time I still feel like a newlywed. So, I may revisit that idea in another five to ten years.
So anyway, over the last 10 years we’ve traveled with kids and done Christmas at home. I’ve been down to the wire with shopping, and I’ve had it all done early. Sometimes I’ve just gotta decide what’s important and let everything else go. Here are five things I keep in mind as I plow through this season.
1. Work hard then play hard
I kind of live this philosophy all year, but there’s so much fun to be had and SO much work to do at the end of the year. My schedule hasn’t always allowed for flexibility, but when it does, I try to plan as best as I can to work ahead so I can fully enjoy Christmas with my family. Sometimes that means writing articles and blog posts at 3am so we can have breakfast with Santa the next day (I try not to sleep through breakfast).
2. Find ways to make shopping simpler
I did so much of my shopping online this year. Luckily I have Amazon Prime. When I do venture out to the stores I try to call ahead or use services that will help make my trip faster. Like Sears free In Vehicle Pick Up, Return and Exchange in Five, or Reserve It. Each of these services makes my live easier and the season a little #MoreMerry for me. I could go on and on with shopping tips, but this article sums it up pretty well.
3. Make a list, then check it twice
Just like Santa, I make a list, but not just for shopping, for things I’d like to do this month, and things I need to do. I love getting a photo with Santa, making a gingerbread house, and going to see a light display. Then of course I keep track of who we want to get gifts for outside of our family.
4. Travel light
I could do a whole post on traveling with kids, but the main thing I try to remember is pack light, and when possible, bring things that can serve more than one purpose. If we’re traveling somewhere without a crib and other items for my toddler I may bring a play yard that also works as a diaper changer, and a place he can sleep. This one by Fisher-Price is half the weight of other portable play yards.
5. Make and document the merry memories
Most important of it all, beyond all the shopping, and hustle and bustle is enjoying the time with my family and friends, and remembering why we celebrate this time of year. I try to document our fun through videos and lots of photos, so once all of the dust settles we can look back and smile at the good times we had. We always record some video on Christmas morning as the kids open or see their gifts. It’s adorable because throughout the year my husband will ask me to pull up old videos of our daughter (and now son) opening up her presents through the years. We’re already planning our strategy for recording one this year.
What do you keep in mind as you cross everything off your holiday to-do list? Any tips you’d share with a new parent? Everyone who leaves a comment by Christmas will be entered to win a $140 Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard. Good luck!
A big thanks to Fisher-Price for sponsoring this giveaway and conversation. This post is a part of a partnership with Fisher-Price as an FP Insider and Sears as a part of their #SearsBloggerSquad. All opinions expressed are my own.