Hello everyone! Here we are, smack in the middle of all the holiday buzz!

There is so much going on at this time of year. So today, I want to talk about my family’s little traditions and routines during the holiday season while focusing on you and how you take care of yourself amidst all the holiday craziness- especially if there are children in your life.

It can get hectic and even overwhelming around this time of year, so join me for some ideas on staying sane while enjoying the holiday season!

The Three Rs of Safety

A while ago, after presenting to a school on trauma-informed classrooms, I came up with a new take on the old idea of the three Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and introduced instead the three Rs of safety: ritual, routine, and relationships. I realized these principles were not just for classrooms. They are essential for trauma recovery and overall mental health. Focusing on routine, ritual, and relationships creates the foundation for a safe and supportive environment. That idea also aligns with the theme of this podcast, which encourages us to tune in, understand expectations, and stay curious.

Everyday Routines and Rituals

Routines are the daily activities that keep a household running smoothly. They involve things like morning preparations, homework sessions, and family meals. Rituals, however, carry a spiritual or mindful dimension, adding an extra layer to daily practices. Relationships involve fostering healthy connections, and understanding these elements gives us a foundation for navigating the challenges of the holiday season.

Rituals and Routines During the Holidays

In the early days of the COVID pandemic, people became acutely aware of the importance of routines and rituals. The loss or disruption of familiar habits highlighted their significance in providing stability and comfort. Establishing or reintroducing routines and rituals provided a coping mechanism for many individuals, helping them find a sense of normalcy amidst all the uncertainty.

Adapting Holiday Rituals Over the Years

Holiday rituals and routines naturally evolve as our circumstances and family dynamics change. As children grow, families should reassess and redefine what brings joy and fulfillment during the holiday season.

Prioritizing Personal Well-being During the Holidays

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is essential to prioritize our well-being. Simplifying your holiday traditions to align with your needs and energy will allow you peace and joy. Aim to find some balance between your cherished traditions and self-care to ensure a positive and fulfilling holiday experience.

Tuning In: Navigating the Season’s Demands

We need to tune in to ourselves and our loved ones during the holiday season. That involves reflecting on what brings us personal joy and fulfillment while also considering the needs and desires of other family members. It may also require re-evaluating your traditions to ensure they are genuinely enjoyable for everyone instead of following societal expectations.

The Anti-Elf on the Shelf Manifesto

I don’t like the Elf on the Shelf tradition because I see it as a representation of the pressures modern parenting places on families. I encourage you to question whether or not those traditions align with your circumstances, financial constraints, and emotional well-being. I always urge parents to prioritize creating genuine, stress-free memories over conforming to societal expectations.

Unintended Impact: Lessons from Mismatched Frames

A poem written by my eldest child reminded me of the unexpected impact our seemingly insignificant choices can have on family memories. The story behind it revolved around mismatched frames that I perceived as a flaw but, in reality, symbolized the importance my children placed on the family itself rather than what the frames looked like. The lesson I learned was to embrace authenticity and prioritize the essence of love over perfection.

Me Time Segment: Hallmark Movies and Last-Minute Gifts

I love indulging in seasonal rituals, like watching Hallmark movies with my special Hallmark movie mug. I have some recommendations that blend self-care with thoughtful last-minute gift ideas as we approach the gift-giving rush. My Little Bag of Sweary Affirmations is a pack of irreverent yet sweet cards. They are perfect for a pick-me-up gift. For book lovers, consider the Kindle Paperwhite, especially if you enjoy reading outdoors. Another great find for a cozy and stylish gift option is the trendy cotton cable knit sweaters from Amazon Basics. If you like unique Christmas cards, check out Sarah Hawkins Designs on Tiny Prince and Char-Fly. Her creations are adorable and stand out from the usual options.

Remember that finding joy lies in simple pleasures and offering thoughtful, practical gifts.

Closing Thoughts

Examine your holiday rituals and routines to ensure they align with the well-being of your family. I encourage parents to prioritize creating a joyful, stress-free environment instead of sticking to societal norms and expectations. Remember that introspection does not make you a bad mother. It demonstrates your commitment to genuine and meaningful parenting.

Until next time! Take care!

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