WT 034: How Do I Make the Holidays Run Smoothly?

It’s hard to believe but the holidays season is here! With all the fun and tradition that comes with the holidays—it comes with a lot of new challenges for moms. You may either travel or entertain family. You might feel pressured to send the prettiest Christmas cards and decorate a pinterest-perfect home, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Listen to today’s episode to hear about how to keep the holidays running smoothly for the entire family (including you!).

Question 1: Karen, do you have any practical tips on keeping the house running smoothly over the holidays? Between thanksgiving and new years we are running like crazy – we host guests, travel to other people’s house, shop for gifts, and deal with the all around holiday chaos. Would love to know how you kept things organized and sane… while also special and reverent.

Karen’s Answer: Ha! No pressure here, right? So, first off let’s be clear, I’m not sure I ever accomplished organized, sane, special and reverent all at the the same time.  Great goals though! My short answer to this question, is keep it simple!

When we lived in Virginia we traveled to Georgia every Christmas. My children were small, so I would decorate the house but never go ALL out. I left that to the grandparents. I figured, I can’t do it all. And as far as being sane during the holidays? Hmm, I guess it depends on your definition of sane.  I am a high capacity person, and the holidays even stress me out.  I really think keeping it simple is the answer.

Pick 2-3 things you want accomplished this holiday season, for example: Put up outdoor lights for the children, go to Christmas Eve service, visit Grandparents, go see Santa, Read the birth of Christ out of the Bible, etc. Make it your goal to at least accomplish those 2-3 things, that way your Christmas is a success in your mind.

Question 2: My husband and I have 2 small kids and both of us have been feeling the tug on our hearts to stay home for the holidays and create our own traditions. We spend Thanksgiving at my husband’s family’s house (which involves taking a plane) – and Christmas with mine, which is a few hours’ drive. We love spending time with them, but it’s hectic and rushed and I would love to have a Christmas morning where we aren’t hurrying the kids’ up to go to grandmom’s. But, I feel like our parents would never forgive us if we took their grandkids away on a holiday. Help!  

Karen’s Answer: Ask the grandparents to come to you! Trust me, the grandparents will forgive you because they want to see you and those grand babies.

I experienced this exact situation.  Like you, I was so worried about both sets of grandparents, but honestly they understood and it all worked out. We would still get a visit in, but it was after Christmas day and it was so nice to be home and not so rushed. I will say, it’s a trade off though, because when we stayed home, all the cooking was on me, so that added an extra stress.  Just letting you know the whole picture. :)

Question 3: Karen, I need your tips on all things Santa Claus.  I don’t think my oldest, 9 year old son believes anymore. Last year he was questioning everything. I want to ask him about it, so I can tell him not to spoil it for his siblings, but if he still believes I don’t want to ruin it for him by addressing it.

Karen’s Answers: Yikes! I hate these kind of questions. :) Mainly because I don’t know!!! When I suspected my children didn’t believe anymore, I would ask things like, “what are your friends saying about Santa Claus?” “What do you think about that?” By 9 he more than likely knows, and you can for sure tell him not to spoil it for the younger ones, but he could now be your little helper and keeper of the secret.

Question 4: Did your family have any special traditions over the holidays? I want to create some memories for my kids that are fun, teach them about Jesus’ birth, and things we can do together as a family. Would love to hear how the Stubbs did Christmas!  

Karen’s Answer: Traditions: My goodness, I think it’s funny how traditions happen.  For our family, they were just by accident. Most of the time I don’t even realize a tradition is born until my children say, “We always do that.”

  • We had an advent calendar of the manger scene and the last day was putting baby Jesus in his manger

  • We “always” toured the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights

  • I “always” made Christmas morning breakfast (this started when Kelsey was in high school)

  • We “always” watch the Grinch that Stole Christmas (cartoon and Jim Carey)

  • We “always” spend Christmas with family

Ask your children (if they are old enough) what they enjoy about Christmas. That may help you see what is already becoming a traditions in your home.

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God.

If you are enjoying the podcast and feel led to give this holiday season, we humbly ask that you consider giving to Birds on a Wire so that we can encourage and equip more moms in 2017. Please consider donating now. 

Thank you moms, have a great day!