The holidays can be stressful, and having young kids always adds another layer of planning. It is good to keep this in mind when preparing for the holidays, so that things run as smoothly as possible. Here are some ways we have found helps to make the holidays a little easier with young kids!

Christmas gifts

Coordinate gifts with wrapping paper

I coordinate my kids’ gifts with wrapping paper.  Each child gets their own gift wrap, and it is tailored to their favorite things.  For instance, one set may have cats in Santa hats, and the other will have a TV character.  This makes it easy to wrap your gifts and keep track of whose is whose.  It also eliminates the need for gift tags.  And, it allows you to wrap gifts without having to put bows on each gift, because for instance, I will stack a pile of wrapped books and put a bow on top, instead of each gift.  The coordinated gift wrap makes the pile of gifts very visually appealing!

Put together a tree of non-breakable ornaments

Forget any kind of stress or worrying about your kids getting into breakable ornaments.  There are so many options out there when it comes to kid-friendly ornaments. At first, I went through our ornaments and picked out the ones that were metal, wood, fabric, etc.  However, there are very affordable plastic ornaments that make for beautiful tree-decorating.  Even now that my kids are older, we can set up a gorgeous theme tree – plus, we don’t have to worry if the cats bat at the ornaments.

Preassemble gifts and have batteries ready for toys that need them

If you are giving your kids a toy that needs assembly, you may want to consider putting it together ahead of time, so that you do not have to tackle that task on Christmas morning.  Additionally, make sure you have enough batteries for toys that need the, so that you do not have to deal with disappointed children.

Have activities ready for Christmas day

Christmas morning can mean an early morning if you have younger kids.  Be prepared for the possibility that gifts may be all opened by 7:30am!  Have some activities set up for the day, or even plan some presents that involve keeping the kids busy on Christmas day (such as crafts or Legos).

Have kids clean out before Christmas day

I always encourage my kids to clean out their rooms a bit before Christmas. They are going to be getting things for the holidays, and so a good cleaning out is a great way to declutter before adding more stuff! This goes for clothes that don’t fit and toys they don’t use.  This is a great time to emphasize the importance of donating and passing things along to other people. 

If you travel, have a plan

Traveling during the holidays can add a whole other layer of stress to Christmas, from kids being off their schedules to struggling to hide presents. Make sure you start putting together a plan early, so that you can carry out your travel plans with the least amount of stress as possible. You’ll want to make sure you have ways to keep the kids occupied in the car or plane, comforts of home when traveling, and have a plan for transporting or shipping gifts.