Oh, the Holidays! It really is a wonderful time of year, made even brighter if you have young children in the house. The keys to a joyful holiday are to enjoy the little moments and be as careful as you can be about over stimulation.  It’s those little moments, playing a game with family, laughing at family stories, and enjoying a special yummy treat, which your child will remember.
You may have a long to do list: a house to prepare for quests or packing for travel, food to cook, presents to make or purchase. Just remember if you can’t do everything that’s okay the little moments are the most important. If you are visiting with family don’t hesitate to ask for help. Recently I heard separately from a young mother and her mother-in-law. The young mother felt overwhelmed with visitors, but wanted to make a good impression. The mother-in-law, wanted to help, but did not want to over step any bounds with her daughter-in-law so she was unsure what to do. Communication with the adults around you is just as important as communication with your child. Life is about expectations so ask if you need help and be specific. “Could you run by the store and pick up…” “Could you do the washing up so I can put the baby down for a nap.” Later you can ask your helper what he or she would most like during the visit. Everyone has a better time if all parties know what the others are expecting or hoping for.
One of the simplest items to put on your to do list…a family walk. It’s good for everyone. A walk together is great after a big holiday meal, but it also builds memories for your child. Even family members who aren’t big talkers often get chatty on a little walk. I have vivid memories of talking with older family members on walks during the holidays. It’s a great thing to do whether you live in a rural area or in Manhattan.
Enjoy the season!