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A Busy Parent’s Guide to Prepare for the Holidays

Chances are, a busy parent did not write the holiday classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” 

More like stressful. Hectic. Overwhelming. 

And yet. . . 

Watching the excitement in our kiddo’s eyes reminds us that yes, even for busy parents like us, the holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year. And with a few holiday hacks, even the busiest of parents will welcome this magical time. 

Why the Holidays are Hectic

True, there are too many reasons to count. But we’ll focus on the few we can control. 

1) Too little time

Think about it, the time between Thanksgiving (the unofficial start to the holiday season) and New Year’s is 5 weeks. That’s just 5 weekends to fit in holiday parties, gift shopping, decorating, hanging lights, baking cookies, ice skating, and celebrations.

 

2) Too many commitments

December is chock full of celebrations – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s to name a few. Add in the kiddo’s school functions, family photos, work parties, and gatherings with family and friends and you have a schedule longer than Santa’s list.

 

 

3) Poor Diet (aka, too many sugar cookies)

The holidays are synonymous with baking, comfort foods, and all things sugar. And although our taste buds are celebrating, a poor diet leads to unhappy tummies, fatigue, and a not-so-wonderful time. 

 

4) Sleep loss

Whether it’s the diet, stress, or short days, poor sleep can also be a factor in a hectic holiday season. 

 

5) Unrealistic expectations

Pinterest and Instagram can make us feel like we’re not doing enough for our kiddos, but don't fall for it! Unrealistic expectations lead too many awesome parents to question their parenting, overexert themselves, and miss the joy of the season altogether. 

5 Holiday Hacks for a Busy Parents

 

1) Don’t wait for Thanksgiving

Yes, we know getting into the holiday spirit before Thanksgiving is a no-no. . . but for busy parents, it’s a must. There’s simply not enough time to hang the lights, put up the tree, take family photos, and get all your holiday shopping done in time. So get started early, and do what you can before Thanksgiving, for example:

  • Gift Shopping
  • Family Photos
  • Car Maintenance (if traveling)
  • Decorating

And leave the super important holiday activities (like blasting Christmas music) until after the turkey is carved. 

 

2) Shop for Gifts Online

Online shopping is a total game changer for busy parents. Knock out your shopping list in your pj’s with a cup of coffee (before Thanksgiving, if possible) and be amazed with how much time and energy you save. 


Brownie points if you get ‘em gift wrapped too!

 

3) Don’t Overcommit

Leave space in your schedule for relaxing and enjoying time with family. It’s tempting to take the kids to every holiday party and winter festival, but overexerting yourself isn’t fun for anyone! 

 

4) Stick to Healthy Habits

We get it, too much stress and not enough time makes it easy to abandon healthy habits. But a nutritious diet and exercise should be checked off your wishlist. Here are a few tips: 

  • Hold the sugar 
    • Stick to healthier holiday treats and avoid hidden sugar in soda, juice, and even gummy vitamins. And for those traditional treats, consider substituting with a sugar alternative – monk fruit is our fave!
  • Get outside with the family
    • Not only is playing outdoors with the kiddos fun, but soaking up the sun rays will give everyone a much needed vitamin D immunity boost
  • Stick to a sleep schedule – Plenty of sleep isn’t just important for kids, we need it too! (And nope, coffee isn’t a good alternative.) 

 

5) Be Present, Not Perfect

To give your kiddos amazing childhood memories, you don’t need the biggest tree, extravagant lights, or fancy dinnerware. Leave perfection to Pinterest and give your family what they really want. . . YOU! :)


The holiday season doesn’t have to be hectic. Plan ahead, start early, take shortcuts where you can, and focus on what matters most. Now let’s get ready for the most wonderful time of the year!

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