De-stressing Christmas for Your Child
Christmas, with its array of bright colors, unfamiliar faces and loud noises, may cause overstimulation in young children. Make the season more enjoyable with these easy-to-implement ideas:
Spread out the festivities. Don't cram all your celebrating into a single day. Consider visiting grandparents in early December or January; open presents a few at a time, and bake cookies the week after Christmas.
Change scenery. If your child needs a break from loud noises, take him for a walk, if weather permits. Your child will benefit from one-on-one time with you.
Spend more time and less money. As much as possible, include your children in holiday traditions. Most of their memories will be about people, not presents.
Interpret the season. Unfamiliar activities crowd the December calendar. Schedule familiar activities such as attending a Christmas Eve service or baking a birthday cake for Jesus.
Keep a routine. Maintain a normal schedule as much as possible. Have your children go to bed at the usual time on Christmas Eve, and provide favorite foods as part of Christmas dinner, even if it's macaroni and cheese.
Make a contingency plan. If you celebrate with a large group, find a quiet place when your youngster gets fretful. Bring some books, music or other quiet activities.