It's the time of year... the holidays are here! We are so busy... making fun crafts and gifts for family, baking cookies and getting the house ready. However... my favorite part is just being together as a family.

Enjoying our time together, without being rushed or falling into the hustle & bustle of the season. During this time, it's so important to keep traditions alive & spend time together as a family. Without letting your to-do list get too giant, try to scale back & spend time with those that you love. How on earth do you do that? We've got you covered, as usual. ;)

How to put your family first in the holiday season

  • Set aside specific nights for family fun. Monday is Christmas Cookie night (find a fun new cookie on Pinterest!). Tuesday is Ornament night (make cute new ornaments like these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ornaments!) Wednesday is Christmas Breakfast day!
  • Make a family bucket list and then put the activities on the calendar.
  • If dinner is not a good time for everyone to connect, consider trying to make Saturday breakfast a time.
  • Remember it is okay to say no to activities. Even the good things can cloud our family time.
  • Determine what your regular traditions will be and then do those. Maybe it's a new book every night in December? Maybe a nightly trip around the neighborhood to listen to music & look at the lights.
  • Guard the time that you set aside for family. If 7:00 pm is your Christmas book time, don't let a phone call get in the way.
  • Spend time after Christmas, reflecting on the year together. Everyone write 5 things that they loved about the last year.
  • Set aside the phone. When you are together, dock the phone and be present. (This rule goes for grown-ups)
  • Do activities that can involve the whole family. Decorate the kids rooms together (we let every child have a tiny tree & they decorate them with hand-made ornaments. They all help one another.)
  • Take the kids with you when you go Christmas shopping. Let them help you plan & pick the gifts.
  • Make gifts for the siblings or give each child $1 for the other kids and take them to the dollar store. I have four kids, so each child gets $3.00 and they pick out a toy from the dollar store or dollar section of Target for each sibling. It's so fun to see what they buy. We do this for the grown-ups, too. (Last year I got fake flowers from every child and my husband got gloves, an ice scraper for the car and a puzzle.) It's my favorite thing to see what they think we will like.

What about you? How do you connect? Let us know in the comments!