1. Make a to-do list. The holidays will feel a lot less stressful if you can at least see a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t abandon the family to rush off for an errand that just popped in your head; stay organized with a list of all the things you need to take care of.
2. Make another to-do list. Your first list is for chores. Now make another list, this time of the fun things: Christmas movies, gingerbread houses, snowball fights. How can you incorporate the whole family into these memorable activities?
3. Involve the kids in chores. Chores like decorating with garland are a lot more fun than taking the trash out. You can have fun scratching off the tedious tasks on the to-do list if you involve the whole clan.
4. Double up on dinners. There’s no way around it; you’ll do a lot of cooking in December. While you’re in the kitchen, up the portion sizes that way you can make multiple meals and save yourself from cooking every day. Put your Tupperware to use and clear up your evening schedule.
7. Unplug when you’re at home. Speaking of screen time, too often people end up staring at their phones when they’re together with loved ones. Start with yourself—put the phone away during family time. If you have teenagers, you may need to make this a household rule.
8. Start new traditions. Which activities would help you feel like you maximized your family time this year? Baking cookies, caroling, driving to find the best holiday lights? Anything you do this time of year can become an instant tradition.
10. Don’t compare your family to others.. Other families are always going to look like they have it all together on social media. Rest assured, they have the same stressors as you. Online envy won't equal more time with your own loved ones.
11. Serve others. Give back as a family this holiday season. Find a charitable facility where you can donate your time and instill the importance of hospitality in your young ones.
13. Take time off. Over 50% of Americans have unused vacation time at the end of the year. Don’t let that be you. There’s not a better time of year to get away from work and soak up quality family time.
14. Give gifts that create bonds. Board games, crafts, even gift cards. All these kinds of presents can equate to bonding time after Christmas morning.