Plan for Magic, Not Chores

Family sitting around the tableThe Halloween candy is still around-the pieces the kids don’t like, but eventually, find a way to devour anyway. When it’s gone, the household daily routine has only a moment to recover before the holidays, in all their glory and occasional exhaust.

The parties, the food, the decorations if you’ve been through these 20 years or so, you pretty much know what to expect. But children see this time in terms of magic, not chores. For little ones, it’s a season of frenzied excitement, gaiety all about, extreme hustle and bustle, and sugar. Here are some tips:

  • Try to get the children in bed at a regular hour; wake-up time as well.
  • Keep mealtimes as regular as possible, and insist, even for your teens, a sit-down-how’s-your-day dinner at least once a week.
  • If Saturday or Sunday is a family day in your house, spend it together for sure-pick a tree, enjoy family traditions, maybe take a stab at one final housecleaning for the company coming. All for one and one for all-it won’t seem like work.
  • Help good habits survive. Discuss candy and tooth brushing in the same breath.
  • Set aside time for friends everyone's friends. Welcome your daughter’s pierced pals and your son’s football friends.
  • Allow each family member some uninterrupted quiet time, including yourself. Resurrect the “do not disturb” ethic. Remember what quiet sounds like?

Given all the potential for anxiety during the holidays, balance the diet, stress, and expectation with normalcy.