If there’s one thing that moms know, it’s the importance of putting on a brave face. Regardless of which walks of life, we come from, we will all face moments of overwhelming adversary and uncertainty when trying to plan and execute what we think is best for our family and, in these moments, even if we’re completely lost, we know to put on a demeanor of control and composure for our beloved children. This seems to be a lesson that the entire world has internalized yet something we admire in many mothers. Everywhere we look we see a calm, collected, and carefree assessment of our “new normal,” entire brands assuring us that we’re “all in it together.” When we do get out, we see everything from yard signs to billboards assuring us that “everything will be ok.”
What the pandemic hasn’t taken away from many of us, fortunately, are our homes and family members. These are two of the most vital elements in order for any holiday season to be deemed joyous and a success. Many mothers have millions of thoughts running around their brains during a time like this, but there is a lot that is positive that we should be thankful for. You are absolutely not alone in any feelings of nervousness as the holiday season approaches with no end to the COVID-19 pandemic in sight. Moms the world over wait all year to make the holidays the most magical time possible for their kids, and there’s no reason why this year’s holidays can’t still be one to remember.
The good news is, as many project planners and creatives will tell you, sometimes the most miraculous, groundbreaking, and life-changing things can happen when one is working within incredibly restrictive guidelines. Here’s how to make the 2020 holiday season just as special as any other, if not more so.
Spend Less Money, Spend More Time
As Moms, we want the absolute best for our kids. Unfortunately, we sometimes fall into the trap of simply equating the amount of money that we spend with a numerical representation of how much we care. It may be tempting to spend as much money as possible these holidays, but resist this urge! Although it’s unfortunate that you may have had to change or cancel travel plans, or events you had in your diary, you’re going to be saving a lot and seeing a much lower cumulative price-tag on your holiday. Great, right?
Think back to your own childhood and your memories with your own mother. Find the deepest held and most beloved experiences that you’ve cherished for all these years. Did they revolve around something you were given, whether it was a gift or an experience, or was it something that you shared with your mom? For many families, there has been an increased time spent together as we were all discouraged from going out in public, which means the holidays should be ultra special as you enter the season with bolstered bonds with one another. Baking, board games, being creative together, cardboard models, word searches, storytelling, pillow-fort making… anything that you take time to do with your children by becoming truly invested is something that they will hold more dearly in their memories than even the most expensive gift. Do this as often as you can.
That Being Said, You Might Need to Change It Up
Quality time with your kids is definitely the most important thing you can offer them, but if you think back to some of your second favorite memories that revolve around the holidays, they probably, admittedly, did revolve around seeing new, exciting places. Light shows, restaurants, and large gatherings are pretty much off the table this year. Lucky for you, it’s not typically the actual tangible things or services of these places that really make kids feel as though they are having a special holiday. It’s the sense itself that something magical is taking place and that they are a part of it, some once-a-year event totally unique to the holidays.
So, what’s to be done? Well, this could be an opportunity to dust off the old imagination. While it may sound a bit silly to you, you could certainly make up any kind of event or gathering that your kids could participate in. Want to do a visit with Santa inside the comfort of your own home? Go for it. Want to search for a Christmas tree in your own backyard? Just set one up. A child’s imagination will do most of the legwork on this one, all you have to do is set the mood, give the day a sense of special mysterious wonder, and maybe even dress your children in some high-end clothing to round things off.
We’ve all been moms for varying periods of time and many have learnt to control their levels of panic when they feel overwhelmed. The holidays often see moms scurrying around for last-minute presents or preparing the home for family visits. What remains constant throughout, however, is the contagious spirit of our children as they start seeing more and more fairy lights and images of Santa decorating their home and town. There are still so many opportunities to maintain those feelings of festivity and joy, even from the comfort of your home.
It’s important to persist in keeping your kids inspired and excited about one of the most special times of the year. Play games with them, roast marshmallows on your indoor fireplace, and sing to renowned carols to keep their enthusiasm alive. We know that with added excitement comes the potential for kids to crash after a holiday season high but, even if there’s a full-blown tantrum, memories will be made, and that’s what counts.
This article is contributed by Tess DiNapoli. She is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.