Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash


At this time of year, it’s so easy to get swept up in the celebrations that herald Christmas and the end of the year. There are school events to attend, extra-curricular activities to fit in, family celebrations to be a part of an end of year festivities to enjoy.

I don’t know about you, but my family seems to get busier each and every year. There are more events to squeeze in, more obligations to meet and more things to do. As a result, we tend to burn out well before the celebrations come to an end.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Yes, the silly season can be crazy, but you can take control so you and your family aren’t left exhausted as you prepare to ring in the new year. It all comes down to choosing a slower pace during the holiday season.

As a special needs family, we’ve had to learn to take things slow and conserve our energy for the celebrations that truly matter to us. Honestly, if we attended everything on our calendar, my kids would need to hibernate until the end of next year to recover!

Taking things slow doesn’t mean missing out on fun or being viewed as party poopers. On the contrary, taking things at a slower pace this holiday season will ensure you make the most of the events you attend. It will also increase your chances of truly enjoying yourself when you’re there and you’ll have more time together as a family too.

So, how do you take things slow at the busiest time of the year?


It’s Okay to Say No

The first step is to accept that it’s okay to say no and decline invitations. There is always a sense of obligation involved when you receive an invitation but this obligation shouldn’t drive you to attend if it’s not in your family’s best interests to do so. Become okay with saying no and putting your family’s needs before your sense of obligation.



It’s important to prioritise what matters to you. Look at the events coming up in your calendar and decide which ones mean more to your family. Prioritise those ahead of the others so you are free to take part in them and truly enjoy them. As more events come up, repeat this process so you ensure you don’t become overcommitted and overwhelmed.



Next, it’s important to schedule your time. This is isn’t just scheduling events, it’s about ensuring you and your family have adequate time to rest and recover each day as the end of the year draws near. Schedule rest time into each day and be careful not to overcommit to make up for your slower days. Use a calendar as a visual reminder for the whole family.


Reclaim Family Time

Slowing your pace at the end of the year gives you the opportunity to reclaim time as a family. Get everyone to suggest ways to spend this time together. Play board games, catch up on new release movies, head out for a summer evening stroll, visit the beach or challenge each other to video games. Enjoy the benefits of coming together as a family while living a little slower.


Get Over Your FOMO

The final step is to win the battle over FOMO (the fear of missing out). Once you’re enjoying a slower pace, it can be tempting to give into FOMO and start filling up your calendar again. Don’t do it. Think of your family’s needs and continue to commit to a slower pace. It can be hard but remember why you’ve taken this step and protect your family from the end of year overwhelm.


You may like to read:

Christmas-Themed School Holiday Fun!

Holiday Activities for Kids

Christmas Gift Guide