We work hard at creating Christmas experiences for our children because we want them to have something special. Each year we try to create a Christmas experience for them that surpasses all others. For weeks we plan and shop and decorate and cook.
Then, we collapse.
I call this the “post-holiday blues.” You’ve probably experienced this to some degree. Some studies show as many as 25 percent of Americans suffer from low-grade to full-blown depression after the holidays.
We set our expectations so high and create so much stress in our lives around the holidays that by the time they’re over, we actually feel depressed—either from un-met expectations or from anxiety and exhaustion.
When it comes to parenting, I believe the best advice is to keep it simple, year-round. Let go of the unrealistic expectations for your family during the holidays. Instead of getting yourself worked up and teed up for a post-holiday funk, consider doing these simple things over the next few weeks. I think you’ll be amazed at how good you feel come January.
Don’t perform for your kids. Enjoy time with them instead.
We want to make our children happy, so we do what we must to make them happy: find the gift they are dying to have. But even as we shop, we know we are fooling ourselves. The exhilaration in our child will last a day or two and then POOF! its gone. Even so, we push ourselves to deliver anyway. We ultimately become performers for our children—deliverers of happiness—and this is too much for us.