Updated: Dec 2, 2021
The holidays are here! If you are anything like me, you started shopping early, thought you were super ahead of the game and here we are, a few short weeks before Christmas, and not done!
For me, around the holidays and in life in general, I am always seeking ways to create more space, less stress and a sense of ease.
Living through the times we have lived through the last almost 2 years has shown me, more than ever, that our culture and society need to shift away from capitalist ways of living and prioritize our connections to each other, our Mother Earth and a more genuine way of experiencing this sweet, precious life we have.
I wanted to create a short list of amazing gift ideas for the parents in your life (especially the ones of young children!), that will not break the bank, will reduce their stress and make everyone's holiday season more enjoyable!
MY TOP FIVE GIFTS IDEAS FOR BUSY AND OVERWHELMED PARENTS (For your children, your friends and yourself!)
1. Give the Gift of Cleanliness:
Hire your friends a housecleaner! Give this gift before the big days and allow them to relax and prepare in other ways!
2. Give the Gift of Experiences:
We all know of the dangers of clutter, in terms of our mental health and well being (not to mention, how annoying it is to have to clean more stuff!).
Get gift cards to the movies or local businesses (and there are so many! Fired Creations, Highland Bow & Arrow, Sawyer & Sunny, On Paper Books, Doktor Lukes, JJ's, Middle Ground Market or Lillian Company, etc) , an annual pass to Two Rivers Wildlife Park, sign your littles up for classes at the HAT Academy, or lessons at Highland Bow & Arrow.
(Please go follow all of our local superstar businesses and show them some love!)
3. Give the Gift of Time:
Offer your friends with partners a night away, sans children! (Or heck, your solo parent friends too!)
To sleep, or be wined and dined or go dancing or whatever floats their boat! How often is your partnership put to the back burner? What parent would not appreciate some time to care for themselves? AND the bonus of strengthening your community by mutually caring for the wee ones! Our children like breaks away from us too!
4. Ditch the Big Meal! (Or Turn it into a Potluck!):
Growing up, Christmas day was a stressful one. It seemed, even to my young eyes, that that could have been alleviated by sharing the load instead of one family or family member doing the bulk of the cooking.
Instead of having your holiday dinner set up like that (1 person, usually the mother, stuck in the kitchen all day doing all the things), try arranging for it to be a potluck! Ask guests to bring dishes, desserts, and drinks!
Spread the responsibilities and enjoy the relaxation time! (Obviously, if cooking for 10 people is your jam, have at it!)
If you do not like cooking at all, or you have parent friends who don't, consider ordering yourself or them a meal delivery box!! I love Hello Fresh and Good Food! You might still have time to snag a holiday box! Check Port City Grocery out too! They sometimes have meals from the Cape Breton Food Hub!
5. Give the Gift of Tradition:
Maybe you want to gather with a certain family every year and bake cookies together, or watch a holiday special together. Or make your holiday tree decorations together.
So often we think of gifts as just the material presents under the tree.
Let's collectively shift that.
We can give gifts that do not need to be wrapped and unopened. We can give gifts that truly elevate our quality of life and the well being of those around us.
If you find yourself frazzled and stressed, maybe it's time to consider changing things up and shifting how you approach the holidays!
From my little family to yours: Be Present, Be Mindful, Be Loving!
Enjoy the days with your family, as much as you can.
Look for the stillness and the quiet.