Your single parent holiday season does not have to be a stressful whirlwind of overspending, over-committing and general burn out... Here are a couple of things I've done to help keep the season bright!
My sister is married to a Marine. If you have been in the military, you know that plans are not confirmed until you get where you are going... and then they might still change.
Semper Fi (always faithful) is the motto of the Marines.
Semper Gumby (always flexible) is the motto of their families.
Plans are great...but kids get tired and hungry, traffic is slow, friends cancel out, or you just plain wear out. Be flexible and suggest alternatives, if things don't always go your way.
Stick to your budget
We are all a little more conscious about money this year. As a single parent, my first priority is to keep a roof over my daughter's head. Not to be a scrooge... I am still buying a few presents for my daughter, but the adults in my life are getting a lot less.
"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall."
~ Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas
I'm even kind of proud of my Christmas tree this year. I love real trees, but would rather spend that money elsewhere. So, I made a tree of lights. Every night when we get home, my 2-year-old runs over to plug our tree in. There is also a little teeter-totter...She sits there and I hear her "oohhh" & "aahhh" for about 5-10 minutes.
Free Community Events
Spread out your single parent holiday celebration by attending some community events - either with the kids or with out...Just remember not to overbook! This year, I tried for three events, but only made it to one.
The first holiday celebration was a tree lighting and visit with Santa Claus. I wasn't feeling so good, so we skipped it.
The second party was SnowFest...which if you read my last entry, you know was a TOTAL bust!
The third event was a parade with my daughter's pre-school. It was so much FUN! We rode on a float singing Christmas carols and throwing candy out to the crowd.
We had matching mommy and daughter shirts, courtesy of her school. We danced, played with bells, sang and threw candy. She waved at the people on the street and said "Bye-Bye, Later"...It was a blast!
Just make sure to bring extra snacks. When kids get tired and hungry - they get cranky. Sometimes you can stave them off with Goldfish!
You have to make the most of your single parent holiday. Remember the important part is enjoying the time with your kids - no matter what you are doing.