The holiday season is hectic for everyone, but it gets especially crazy for parents with little ones. Between the pressure of moving that darn felt elf every night, to hitting up every Christmas party and activity available, plus all the shopping, planning and baking, a parent can go crazy real quick. Make life easier, and let go of some of that parental guilt by NOT doing these things this holiday season.

Personally, I love everything about the Christmas season. I used to take all the stress in stride because I love it so much, but each year it gets a little harder. As a Mom it's important to me to create and continue special Christmas traditions for my girls, but I'm beginning to feel like there are not enough hours in the day or days in the month to pack in all the Christmas fun that I would like to. Then I read this article on workingmother.com, and I got to thinking that maybe there are a few things I could let go of this year to make things easier.

Here's just a few of the things the article suggests NOT doing to make Christmas more enjoyable this year:

  1. Don't wait until the last minute to arrange for daycare when the kids are out of school. Make a plan early, because a lot of care givers want to take time off around Christmas too.
  2. Volunteer to organize your child's class party. I know we don't like to miss any event in our child's life, but the added stress of planning the party on top of working full time and all the other Christmas prep you have to do is just not worth it.
  3. Taking time to make cute Pinterest inspired gifts for teachers. Yes, there are super cute ideas out there, but a teacher will love a gift card just as much as that clever candy holder. Save yourself some time.
  4. Spending time in line and shelling out big bucks to see Santa. So many organizations and events feature pictures with Santa these days, and don't require standing in line for hours waiting to meet the big guy in red. You can always get a Santa suit and convince a friend or family member to dress up for the photo op instead.
  5. Works lots of overtime to buy better gifts. The kiddos should learn to be happy just getting a gift at all, it doesn't have to be dozens of super expensive items.  If you have to work the overtime, why not save up for something more awesome like a family vacation or something.
  6. Traveling far to see family. I know we all want to be home for the holidays and spend it with people we love, but sometimes the burden of major travel is just too much stress. Don't agree to travel out of obligation, only do it if you really want to.
  7. Allow for family to stay at your home. Saying no might make you feel like a jerk, but getting your home ready for visitors is hard. Use your kids as scapegoats if needed, and simply explain and apologize that you have too much going on already.
  8. Mail out holiday cards. This one is hard for me to let go of, but it does take a lot of time and money to do. Sure, we love to show off cute pics of our kids, but isn't that what social media is for? Maybe we should just mail cards to those relatives that aren't so tech savvy instead of our whole address book.

Here's hoping your Christmas season is less hectic and more enjoyable this year! If not, there's always wine and eggnog.