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Why Pandemic Holidays May Be Easier for Families of Medically Complex Kids

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Everyone keeps saying that 2020 is a strange year, and it is! With the pandemic, families won’t be getting together in big numbers. As parents of kids with health, sensory, or mental health issues, the pandemic restrictions may make it easier to simplify the holidays this year, like planning at-home family days.

Holidays tend to add stress to an already hectic life with a chronically ill child. But this year, you’ll be able to have a meal that fits your family’s dietary restrictions without worrying about what others may bring to the holiday dinner. Staying at home will lessen the stress of transporting your child with all the necessary medical equipment. Naptime will be painless… well, less painful! A quieter day may make it easier for those with sensory issues as well. What will be easier for your family?

Here are some ideas to make it more uncomplicated for you.

1) Buy gifts year-round to save money and time.

2) The closer you get to the holidays, save in-person shopping time by ordering online and have gifts shipped to family members you usually see in person.

3) Get practical with gifts this year more than any other year with gift cards or money.

4) Delay all non-important appointments throughout the holidays.

5) Spend time with your kids at home decorating the house, the tree, singing holiday songs and more. Many holiday traditions such as going to the mall to shop or participating in other holiday traditions are not available this year.

6) Use Zoom or Skype to share the holidays with family and friends.

7) Take care of any health insurance or medicine changes before December so you’re not panicking at the end of the year.

8) Bring out the crafts and make presents with your kids.

9) Cut back on gift-giving with friends and family. Plan a safe outdoor activity when it’s warm enough or meet online.

10) Forget about the perfect Christmas and do what you can.

11) Take as many naps as you can!

12) Simplify gift-giving to your kids with the “four gift rules” with something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

13) If you’re crafty, make masks for your family and give them as gifts.

14) Make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it. It’s easy enough to make a dozen or so freshly cookies quickly. Or just buy the pre-made dough!

15) It will be harder to ask for help from family members, so keeping it simple is a must.

16) Make a bunch of dinners ahead of time and freeze them. Better yet, make or pick up prepared meals, designed to freeze and use when you’re ready.

17) Take a break for an hour or a day for self-care to read a book, watch a movie etc.

18) If you are a hostess-type, take that much-needed break this year.

19) Use recyclable paper plates from Thanksgiving through Christmas to make cleanup easier.

This story originally appeared on Everyday Self-Care.

Getty image by Halfpoint.

Originally published: November 28, 2020
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