This is probably the busiest week of the year for families. I know that it is in mine. Every day this week we have something going on. These are fun events which can bring a great deal of joy, but they can also bring a great deal of stress! Here are a couple of suggestions to help limit the stress while making the most of the Christmas holiday.
1) Keep children to a regular sleeping schedule as much as possible. There is nothing worse than tired, cranky children to put a whole family on edge. While there may have to be a couple of late nights thrown into the mix, try to keep children on a regular sleeping schedule. Going to bed late several nights in a row is a recipe for disaster, especially when combined when large intakes of Christmas treats and general excitement. If need be, have children take naps if you know that they won't be able to get a full night's sleep.
2) Practice the art of compromise. This is a good idea from Bill and Monica Dodds. If you can't agree on Christmas traditions, agree to alternate years. For example, if the type of Christmas tree is at issue, one year have a real tree, the next have an artificial. The key is that the person whose year it is can not gloat and the person whose year it isn't can't whine. In general, though, I think that they key to a merry Christmas (and a sign of the Christmas spirit) is to be willing to give in a bit. Decide what really matters to you. Focus on the spiritual aspects. Make sure that you get to Church. Everything else is negotiable.