10 Tips to Have a Stress Free Holiday

The holidays fills us up with so much fun and excitement. Especially when it’s your child’s first Christmas or when your child is at the age where they get very giddy about opening presents. This will be our 3rd Christmas with Nathan and I’m very excited to celebrate. But, one thing I do not love about the holidays with a baby/toddler is how insanely tired you become. By the end of the day, I’m pretty much a walking zombie.
As much as I love the holidays and celebrating with my son, the driving, the parties, the picture-taking, the cleaning, and the shopping are all very tiring. And feeding and pumping in between all of that feels like there’s just not enough time in a day. Since everyone wants to see Nathan, this has been our holiday schedule the past 2 years:
Christmas Eve:
-Late lunch at my house with my parents.
-Late dinner and midnight mass with Robert’s paternal grandma’s house.
-Drive back 40 miles to go home.
Christmas Day: 
-Breakfast and open presents at mother-in-law’s house.
-Lunch at Robert’s maternal grandma’s side. 
-Lastly, dinner at my aunt’s house.
All very fun and memorable, but the traveling can be a lot and exhausting for parents. Therefore, here are a few tips I recommend to all parents to stay sane and hopefully relaxed this Christmas.
1) Finish wrapping all presents the week before Christmas, and divide up all the presents for each clan/family side. Pack it up the night before so you don’t forget someone’s gift.
2) Do all the grocery shopping and house cleaning 3-5 days before Christmas. Will save you the hassle of finding parking at ridiculously busy markets and stores. 
3) If you’re planning to cook, prep, chop, or marinate everything you need the night before. Saves you time in the morning! 
4) Pump and freeze a lot of breast milk and pack more than what you need (just in case). If your family will be driving a lot like mine, then having a lot of pumped milk will be very handy. Also, if you are going to pump that day wherever you go, make sure you pack all the accessories and batteries the night before so you don’t forget.
5) If you are formula feeding, measure and pack all the formula you need for the day, with extras. Also, store a gallon of water in your trunk the night before so you don’t forget.
6) If you have a picky eater like mine, pack their food and keep it in a cooler. I usually pack something easy, but his favorites, like spaghetti or fried rice. The last thing you want to do at family parties is struggling to feed your toddler. Especially with an overly-excited-to-open-presents toddler. 
7) Prepare, iron, and pack outfits the night before for the entire family, especially your kids’. So you don’t forget anything and just in case of any accidents or poop explosions, you’ll have extra clothing. Pack the diaper bag, as well, and pack it as if you’re going on a trip! You’ll need extra of everything, trust me!
8) Don’t forget the tylenol or ibuprofen, you’ll need it (if you’re not drinking alcohol that is). Headaches are sometimes inevitable, especially when you’re sleep deprived.
9) Give yourself 5-10 minutes of alone time (either in a room or bathroom). Though you’re making memories, hearing from Aunt Sue for the umpteenth time about having a second child is a tad bit annoying. Also, your cheeks will hurt from all the smiling for pictures, or fakely smiling to certain relatives you can’t stand. 
10. Stick to your usual routine. Feed/nurse and put your baby down for a nap wherever you are. Even though everyone wants to play with your child, if they are cranky and ready for a nap, still try to put them to sleep. If you have to have a photo session with a sleeping baby, then so be it. Place your child in your arms, and smile for the picture anyway. It will be you  who has to stay up all night, or wake up early in the morning to feed. Not them. #justsaying 
I hope you guys have a wonderful week and of course a wonderful and stress free holiday! Do you have any more tips to add to this list? If so, comment below!
Nathan’s 1st Christmas 2012

Nathan’s 2nd Christmas 2013

Our holiday portrait 2014 

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14 thoughts on “10 Tips to Have a Stress Free Holiday

  1. Sarah Vanderkooy says:

    This is our first Christmas with 2 kids and it's been a little crazy. The moments are amazing but I am so tired! I love #9, I try to take a little alone time every day just to take a breath. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Sydney Andersen says:

    You have such a cute family Danica! These are all great tips, holidays with kids are way more fun; but I completely agree with you, they are way stressful too. This year we made time for our boys to take their nap at home and they were much happier in the evening. Hope you had a great Christmas!

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  3. Danica R says:

    Thank you so much Sydney! That's good, it can get a little overwhelming and tiring for them too. My son was so tired by 4 pm Christmas Day. We left our family party a little early so he could rest, and we just enjoyed the rest of our evening at home. I did have a great Christmas! I hope you and your family did too!

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