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Blog: Helping Kids Become Organized
The ABC's of Organizing Kids: H is for holiday planning

Did you ever think growing up, that the holidays would be this stressful?  As a kid Christmas was the most anticipated holiday of the year.  As an adult, it is a marathon of effort to get to the end of the year.   No matter how you celebrate this time of year, I think that you would agree it is never as peaceful as you hope.  That brings us to what do we want our children to get out of the "season"?  It is easy for us to spend much more time focused on shopping and material things than on enjoying time together and creating or passing along family traditions.  You will probably agree that more of our memories as adults are of simple but memorable family traditions rather than of any particular item we receive or a shopping experience.  We must think about this and choose how we spend our time and most importantly what our children get out of the time we spend.

It is more important that we do some enjoyable things than doing a lot of things we enjoy.  The joy soon leaves us when we are stressed to get ready, stressed to get done, stressed to clean up, etc.  If your holidays are already typically stressed, choose with your family those things that they really feel are important.  If you ask, they will tell you.  This year we didn't put out everything we might normally in decorations, just to simplify things a little, but we did discuss which things were really meaningful first.  It is really very important in meeting goals that we are first able to differentiate what is really important and what is not.  There are too many things to do if we list them all and it is so easy to get caught up in what others are doing and what we think others think we should do.  Again, determine what is really important to your family.

Your children may find it much more meaningful to spend the day baking cookies and listening to music than to go to a very rushed outing.  Determine the proper mix of busy holiday outings and peaceful family times.  You might plan a family cookie swap to combine a cookie baking experience with a community gathering.  You might encourage/help your children as I mentioned last week to do more to create their own gifts versus spending as many hours in the hustle and bustle of mall shopping.  You might also give or suggest gifts that allow families to share meals or entertainment together.  As a past Christmas gift our oldest daughter and her husband, gave us each a ticket to see a play together after the holidays.  What a great idea and what a nice opportunity to be together after the holidays were over.  This not only makes for easier shopping but it allows a family to spend more time together that will be much more memorable than many gifts. 

Children can also be much more helpful than you might expect in the holiday decorating.  This allows them to really feel a part of the holiday festivities and gives them something to take forward as part of their family traditions.  It helps to organize holiday decorations by room.  Put decorations for each room in separate boxes so that you can take out and put boxes away easily.  In the proper room, items in each box can be unwrapped and displayed and then put back the same way.  If you have not already had this experience, you will be amazed how your children will know exactly where things were the year before and put everything in their proper place.  With a little holiday music in the background, the family can make the task of holiday decorating a great family time together. 

posted on: 11/26/2007 9:00:00 AM by Rosanne Larkins
category: Family

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Helping Kids Become Organized

by Rosanne Larkins

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About Rosanne:

Rosanne Larkins, Defining Time & Space Professional Organizing, Helping people put peace into their life through simplifying things around them. Reduce stress through creating order, save money knowing what you have, save time knowing where to find things.

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