Question: How do I go through Christmas with minimum stress from the children?

I have three children, the oldest being seven years old. I know they look forward to festivities like Christmas but sometimes it comes with too much stress for me. When I think of all the cooking and preparations that come with the day I get worried. Any tips on how to make it less stressful?

I have three children, the oldest being seven years old. I know they look forward to festivities like Christmas but sometimes it comes with too much stress for me. When I think of all the cooking and preparations that come with the day I get worried. Any tips on how to make it less stressful?

Leticia, Gikondo

Dear Leticia, please allow me to begin by wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year, 2014. The attachment we have for such days like Christmas is quite huge and the expectations have been set quite high.

For the little ones those expectations are much higher. They get so excited about the day and what it has to offer. That tends to put a lot of pressure on you as a parent who has to provide and ensure the day goes as they expect it to.

There are some few things you can do to ease pressure on your side. The first one may be coming too late but you can refer to it for next year; plan much earlier. Planning early means you get more work done in time and even avoid the shopping crowds in town. 

A little helping hand can prove crucial at such times. So if there is a company that can find, wrap and deliver gifts you may want to use their services.

It is also important to avoid tantrums or quarrels of any kind. This is a time to celebrate not to fight in anyway. Laugh off anything and smile about everything. You can get back to the strict mode much later. Enjoy yourselves as much as possible.

To further ease up on the pressure, treat your children as though they were real adults. Assign them some simple responsibilities so they can feel part of the whole process. Let them cook a dish or even welcome visitors. Show them that you trust them. It all helps a lot.

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