Back in the beginning of our lives as parents, my husband and I tried to keep up with what had become our traditional family Christmases. Both of us have split families, and people we needed (wanted) to see in different towns. As a result, we would take on a full three days of celebrating each year, starting Christmas eve and ending on Boxing day, with each of the parties going on until late at night.
At first we brought our newborn son along for the ride, and exhausting though it was, we never considered doing anything differently. Then when he was a few years old, my dad’s side of the family somehow added an extra day to the festivities. They wanted to have a sit down evening meal at a pub 45 minutes drive from our house on the night of the 23rd. Three days of madness turned into four days of exhaustion, and though we loved seeing everyone, we were too tired and stressed to really enjoy any of it. Our son suffered, missed out on sleep and became utterly overstimulated by the constant chaos.
Then our daughter came along and with most of her medical needs being taken care of in the early evening, we were suddenly provided with the perfect excuse to slow down. In doing so, we have discovered how rewarding slow family Christmases can be. In this article, I will share the big changes we made, along with the ways we help our little people cope with the intensity of Christmas celebrations.