Halloween is literally just around the corner which means that the chaos of the holiday season is already here! We talk about all the time how important it is for us to create a special childhood for our littles with magical holidays but while also trying to keep the main thing the main thing. With that said, it's really easy to get caught up in and stressed out by all the things! So, we just wanted to share a few things that have been extremely helpful to us over the past several years to help us be able to enjoy the magic with our kids! You know, two moms just trying to help our fellow moms out!
Get Some Help with Elf on a Shelf...
Ok, so if you do Elf on a Shelf in your house & haven't heard of The Mama Elf, you are truly missing out! Last year was the first year that both of our families had a North Pole visitor and the only reason we weren't dreading it is because of The Mama Elf. Kathryn, the owner of The Mama Elf, makes all the elf shenanigans so easy and takes all the work of figuring out what to do with it each day out of it! When you order The Mama Elf box, you will get all of the instructions (day by day & detailed - seriously she makes it SO easy!), activities, and all of the supplies you need in one box! All you have to do is remember to move the little guy or girl each night (to which we recommend setting an alarm)!
...And Help With Planning Your Holiday Activities!
Who doesn't love Advent calendars? The season of anticipation leading up to Christmas is something that has been celebrated in the Christian faith for centuries. I know so many of us want to take in & observe this season while also making it memorable (and a lot of festive fun) for our littles. (If you're interested at all, keep reading for a discount code!)
The Advent Prep Club is another way that you can simplify your planning and prepping process so that you can get on to the memorable parts. They have activity lists, customized templates, resources, processes and helpful tips that enable you to not only plan but actually execute an Advent activity calendar for your family without headaches!
Y'all. They have over 250 activity ideas that can be filtered by age & type & then once you select your activities, your customized templates are created for you along with a supply list, online shopping links, printables, a budget spreadsheet and more! Seriously - I don't think they could make it much easier!
You can also tie your Advent activities in with your Elf by letting the Elf bring your activities each day which is what we plan to do this year!
Also, Advent Prep Club was so kind and gave us a discount code for y'all! You can use code CC15 for 15% off your membership!
Plan Your "Around The Holiday" Meals Now
So, I'm not talking about the meals that you are going to serve on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas (although go for it if you're really on top of it!). But, start thinking about the week leading up to Thanksgiving and the blur of time between Christmas and New Years when no one really knows what day it is. You're going to be busy planning and preparing all of the yummy holiday food if you are hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas and if you're like me, you're so focused on the main event you don't have the brain power left to think of what to cook for your regular dinner two days before the holiday. (And don't get me started on the lack of motivation before the New Year starts!) So, I heard a great tip from someone (really wish I could remember who) sharing online is to plan those meals now. I'm not typically a great planner-aheader but once we're in our new house, (less than a month, people!!) I am going to try to do a little bit of planning to make all of this soooo much easier on myself later.
So, here's your to do list: make a few extra freezer meals in October that you know you can pull out when you don't want to do anything else. Or, find a meal delivery or subscription service that you love that you could use during that time! Personally, I love Meyer & Sage, which is based out of Fort Worth (and if you're local they have grab & go options in-store)!
Keep The Main Thing the Main Thing
For us, the main thing for us at Christmas time is our faith & celebrating that intentionally with our family. It can be so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and so it is nice to help us bring what is important to us into focus on a daily basis. We love the She Reads Truth Advent studies for this & they have resources for the whole family!
Remember That Your Kids Will NOT Remember the Things You Don't Do
To wrap this blog post up, please hear us say, these are all ideas to try to help you through the chaos IF you want to do these things but if you do none of the above, you are still a really, really amazing mom & your kids will still think the holidays are magical and will remember that you are the best mom ever! Your worth is not tied to how many fun, creative things you do as a mom. Just be present with your littles, that's all that truly matters to them.
We'd love to hear from you in the comments, what other things help make the holidays go a little more smoothly for you?!