Being pregnant, having a new baby or in the midst of raising young children often means navigating the winter holidays in a very new way. Perhaps you've rung in the New Year with bubbly and stayed up until dawn, celebrating with friends and loved ones. Or maybe Hanukkah meant keeping family tradition and spending hours on preparing special dishes. Maybe last year, when your little one was just a few weeks old, you spent Christmas at home, missing large family gatherings.
Wherever in the parenting stage you are this year, I encourage you to keep your focus on making it joyful and peaceful, based on what you and your family need. Try not to push yourselves any further than you want, even if it means you're going to disappoint your family because you're not traveling to make the annual holiday dinner. Maybe you have a young child and you'll be searching out kid-friendly activities. Find what interests you and will bring you joy, and let everything else go. Try not to overload your calendar or else you may find yourself very overwhelmed. If you've planned on attending some great community event but your little one is just having it, then skip it! Give yourself permission to make special memories on your own, without the stress that may come with pushing yourself to each and every event on the community calendars.
With that said, one of the great things of having young children is seeking out the different happenings in your community. You'll have the opportunity to see the "same old" with new eyes. You've seen those lights downtown for years; no big deal, right? But when you see your child staring up in wonder, it suddenly feels magical.
Think about what two or three priorities you have for December, and go from there; keep your family time easy, peaceful and full of joy by keeping it simple.