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World Citizen Wednesdays #3: Keeping Holidays Stress-Free

World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesdays, a new feature on All Done Monkey!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

You can find out more about these wonderful bloggers by visiting our Facebook page, subscribing to our Facebook feed, following us on Twitter, or following our group Pinterest board! On Twitter, you can also find us by using the hashtag #multiculturalkids

This week we share the answers to our question:

How do you keep holidays and family get-togethers from being stressful?

Tallulah of Bilingual Babes: Regular fresh air!

Alyson of World Travel Family: We are expats in Australia so all our family is a very long way away. We do Christmases differently too, my husband is a chef, he works Christmas day. Our family tradition is to stay at his 5 star resort hotel for a few days over the holiday. We take a little tree and all the presents with us. He has time to open gifts with us in the morning and takes a few hours off in the afternoon to play in the pool. I don’t have to cook or clean for a few days, it’s non-stress, but I miss wintry Christmases in the UK. The whole holiday is very different in Australia, for everyone, not just chef’s widows.

Becky of Kid World Citizen: Simple traditions like sledding with hot chocolate, riding around to look at Christmas lights/decorations, decorating cookies, huge puzzles, watching certain Christmas movies every year= pure fun, no stress!

Jody of Mud Hut Mama: I’m not very good at keeping holidays stress free, especially Christmas. Although I’m not religious, Christmas has always been a special holiday for my family and I have wonderful childhood memories of Christmas (especially Christmas Eve). It’s important for me to be with extended family at Christmas and that usually means we have to travel. I want to start special traditions with my daughters but I’m battling with that since the traditions have to be portable and adaptable to whatever part of the family we are visiting. Since my oldest was born we’ve had one Christmas in Zambia, one in the U.S., last year here in Malawi, and this year we are heading to Botswana. I’m trying to put less pressure on myself to recreate what I grew up with but I do miss the States the most during the Christmas season.

Melissa of Where going havo?: Last year we had a newborn and stayed home for the best Christmas ever. With no one but ourselves to please we could cut down on all the extras and just focus on a select few activities with our older child. In our case this meant gingerbread, sausage balls, and pomanders (for gifts), each of which we did two or three different times. Add in some candlelight and music once in a while and we had the least stressful holiday season on record.  This year my in-laws are coming to us for Christmas and we are going to my family right after Christmas, but we will still try to keep the calm, simple atmosphere without too many distractions.

Amanda of Maroc Mama: This obviously isn’t the best solution for everyone but having families who celebrate two different sets of holidays and live an ocean apart keeps familial stress down. For the holidays we do celebrate we try and set our own parameters and let family know when we’ll be there, or what we’ll be doing instead of having them tell us when they expect us. When there are a lot of people around and space is at a premium we’ve opted to stay in a hotel to keep our stress level down, give us some space and have some control over our time, diets and kids!

Like Jody, I have found that I tend to have high expectations when we get together with family, especially since we see our extended families so infrequently.  With young children, it’s just not possible to have as much time for long chats with everyone as I would like, so I try to adjust my expectations and just enjoy being together, in whatever form that takes, and appreciate that I am creating holiday memories for my child as well.

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! We will continue to share answers to this question next week.  You can also read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday!

To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page!

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