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‘Tis the season to be tired, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! If you’re like most parents, you find the holidays both full of happiness and exhaustion. We all want to make this time of year special for our kids. But with a never-ending to-do list, gifts to find, decorations to put up and work and social obligations, finding the time to make this season bright can feel overwhelming. Making magic during the holidays doesn’t have to feel like a second job. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the jingle in your bell — and skip in your step this year.

Don’t keep up with the Joneses

It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing for their kids during the holidays, especially when social media is just a click away. Just because there are 100 new articles with Elf on the Shelf poses doesn’t mean you have to read them all. Focus on what you can do with the time you have, not what your neighbors are up to.

Remember that children can find magic in the little things

Don’t worry about creating big extravaganzas out of events like school holiday pageants or a visit to the mall to see Santa. Keep things simple. When your kids look back on these times, it’s not the coordinated sweaters that they’ll remember. It’s the sweetness of the memories and that you were there to share them.

Don’t shop ‘til you drop

The holidays aren’t about things, they’re about people. These days, most people don’t want for much. Let’s be honest. Our garages and closets are overflowing! The presents we give are symbols of affection. Avoid putting massive amounts of pressure on yourself to buy the perfect gift for your friends and family. It truly is the thought that counts, not the dollar amount.

Remember what made the holidays of your youth special

It wasn’t the shopping center. It was how the time of year brought the people you loved together. The taste of candy canes and drinking cocoa in front of the fire made it special. It was the smell of gingerbread and the sound of carols on the radio. Slow down. Put your errands on the back burner while you spend time with the individuals who make the holidays worth having.

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