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4 Ways to Have a Less Overwhelming Christmas as a Mom

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Let’s be real.

Motherhood can be overwhelming.

Motherhood and Christmas can be totally and completely overwhelming!

Not just for you, but also for your kids.

Yes, we love the idea of making the season as magical as possible.

But we also love the idea of focusing on what’s truly important: time spent (not necessarily money spent) celebrating the reason for the season and making fun memories with the ones we love.

We’ve compiled a short list of things you can do this holiday season to take away some of the overwhelm and simplify your Christmas without taking away the magic of the season.

Have some fun structure with your gift-giving.

When I was growing up, my parents always gave each of us (my siblings and me) 5 gifts. It wasn’t a little and it wasn’t a lot. It was just right.

They would give us - and maybe you’ve heard this saying before - something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. So, those were the first four gifts. Plus our stockings!

It was the perfect variety of gifts, and it makes things less of a free-for-all with piles of presents if you're trying to keep things more minimal. This is what we do with our own children too!

Give experience gifts or consumable gifts to minimize clutter.

Giving the gift of an experience can help your child make lasting memories.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • zoo pass

  • trip to the aquarium

  • take them to watch their favorite team play

  • sign them up for gymnastics or ninja class

  • take them to a children’s museum

  • sign them up for art camp

You get the idea.

Consumable gifts are also great - you can just throw it away when you’re done with it to minimize clutter in your house.

Here are some ideas of consumable gifts that kids love:

  • playdoh kits

  • art supplies

  • bubbles

  • craft kits

  • construction paper and crayons

You might be able to tell, we’re big fans of making memories and minimizing the junk that seems to pile up around the holidays!

For extended family, draw names, play bingo for gifts, or do a white elephant exchange.

We love our people, but as families grow, it’s not always feasible to buy gifts for EVERYONE without feeling like you’re going to go bankrupt.

Here are a few ideas for you: draw names, play bingo for gifts, or do a white elephant exchange. Each of these options involves only purchasing (or finding!) one gift per person in your family.

For drawing names, it’s as simple as that - put all the family names together in a bowl or hat and draw them out to see who you’re buying a gift for! To add a little fun, you could have a theme each year, like, sports, cooking, gift cards, etc.

Play bingo for gifts! What a fun tradition to start! Bring as many gifts as you have family members, but do not put name tags on them. When you win bingo, you get to pick a prize! People can choose to “steal” or pick a gift from the pile when they win.

There are so many variations to a white elephant gift exchange, and they’re all fun! Some families will do gag gifts, others will pick a theme. You might use a deck of cards to identify who picks first and make it into a game. This website has the rules and a bunch of variations to this game if you feel this is the route your family wants to take this year!

Throw an inexpensive party!

Remember, the idea is to get everyone together to celebrate! Here are a few ideas for a fun and festive party you can throw:

  • Have an inexpensive sweater party - the sweaters must be thrifted or homemade! Set a $10 limit.

  • Play inexpensive games like the candy cane hook game (use a candy cane in your mouth to hook candy canes hanging from a table) or draw a Christmas scene on a paper plate on your head without looking - the best artwork is the winner!

  • For food, make a big batch of potato soup and a hot chocolate bar. Add the fixings for people to add what they want, and boom! - super easy and fairly inexpensive!

If you try any of these ideas this year, we’d love to hear! Take some photos, share them to your Instagram stories, and tag us @familyrestandwellnessco so we can celebrate with you!

Happy holidays from our families to yours!


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