Christmas Overstimulation Avoidance (for the Faint-Hearted)


Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the lights, decorating, delicious food, buying gifts, parties, etc. The only issue is how easy it is to become overstimulated by everything. There are so many events and demands on our time that it can leave us feeling exhausted and resentful.

How to Avoid Overstimulation (Funny)

One way I have found to make sure my family and I are not overstimulated is by setting boundaries. For example, we only go to look at Christmas lights once a week. The kids can have their tablets in the car to stave off boredom. We bring snacks and listen to Christmas music. I would go every night, but for my family’s sake, I limit us to one a week.

I also try to limit us to Christmas activities only on the weekend (besides looking at lights). Between school and work, it is too much to try to see Santa or Christmas events in the evenings. On the weekends, I let them sleep in until about 9 am before we go start the Christmas tree lightings, parades, cookies with Santa, etc.

We also only write six or seven letters to Santa and visit the Santa Workshop once or twice (maybe three times). Really limiting the time with Santa makes them appreciate the few times we go. It also cuts down on questions on why Santa and Mrs. Claus look so different.

But in all seriousness, be mindful of your time and how much you do. I would probably attend a Christmas event every day, but my littles have let me know it is too much. I try to listen to them and not cry when they say no to my brilliant ideas of Christmas fun.

Seriously Avoid Overstimulation

When we do have events, I try to limit it to one a day so my five-year-old doesn’t have a melt down from exhaustion. I bring snacks to make sure they are not just eating cookies and Christmas candy (this, they fight me on). I always ask and make sure they are feeling well, safe, and happy to go to an event. Otherwise, it quickly turns from a fun event to the Nightmare of Christmas.

I have had to learn to tone down my excitement to make it palatable and fun for my family. But I have also learned to squeeze in Christmas movies and making cookies or ornaments when they do not attend events. Being mindful of my family and their own tolerance levels of Christmas cheer has led to fewer fights and tears from all of us. I also have learned to make my own plans when they are being Grinches!

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I am married to a wonderful cook named Bret(Thank goodness because I love to eat but not cook). I have two boys that started Kindergarten and Pre-school this year. I am thankful they are fed at school as they try to eat us out of house and home. We love to hike, game, swim, watch Bluey and anything with Superheroes and read. Currently, I teach history at Southern New Hampshire University online. Summer and Fall are my favorite seasons as I love the heat but also watching the leaves change and the nights turn crisp. Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and my house is decorated from September to the New Year.