In the interest of supporting a healthy, happy holiday season for families we are going to share some of our favorite family togetherness activities and tips for self care during the holidays. This time of year we are bombarded by images of happy families enjoying all things holidays. It is easy to find ideas online for charming family holiday activities. However, the reality of getting your family engaged in these idealized activities can look very different than the images the marketing campaigns portray.

This season we are excited to share ideas for managing expectations and dealing with family dynamics because, well, there is no such thing as perfect. The holidays seem like a time to bring out your best, but often the pressure of the season ends up bringing out the most overwhelmed version of you. It can be so hard when you look forward to something only to be disappointed, like when you spend time and energy getting a craft ready to do with your kids only to turn around to see that your two year old got to the glitter before you did. (Pro-tip: don’t have glitter in your house if you have a 2 year old. Anywhere. At all.)

Acknowledging the realities of life with children, we focus on the intent of the activity and manage expectations so that you and your family can enjoy whatever it ends up being. Just think back to all those fun DIY fail posts on pinterest. You just may be able to contribute soon, laughing the whole way! There is no award for most perfectly decorated sugar cookie of the year. There are memories that last a lifetime in the simple joys we can take away from accepting the imperfections and embracing being good enough.

Over the next few weeks, we will demonstrate simple, kid-appropriate activities that focus on gratitude, introducing gift giving to children, ways to say thank you, and more. We will also share tips for self-care for parents through the holidays. Look for upcoming posts including setting healthy boundaries with family, talking frankly about when the healthiest choice is not to see family, introducing your partner to your kooky relatives, and ways to manage your emotional health through what can be the busiest and sometimes most overwhelming time of the year.

It is easy to get swept up in the season for good or ill. We encourage you to take a moment and remember what is most important to YOU. Is it hosting a few friends to celebrate all that chosen family can mean? Is it taking time to drink a cup of coffee while your kids make the mess of a lifetime with sprinkles? Is it bundling up and walking through the snow to clear your head? Or trying out grandma’s amazing pie recipe?

Whatever you choose to do, take the opportunity to push the too perfect images from social media and corporate marketing campaigns from your mind and focus instead on making real memories with the folks you love.