Simple Holiday Tips For Single Moms
(Posted December 23rd 2017 @ 8:55 PM by: Adena Pedigo)
Simple Holiday Tips for Single Moms
By Megan McNeal
“And the angel said unto them, FEAR NOT: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY, which shall be to all people… For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour….” (Luke 2:10-11)
The holidays are here! Our children get so excited this time of year, but we single moms often face it with dread or a grim determination to simply survive. We long for that “great joy” and “peace” the angels proclaimed, but they seem so far away in the stress and grief we carry.
Instead of FUN, the holidays often become FRUSTRATING, or even downright FRANTIC.
After my divorce, I finally realized the “perfect” Hallmark holiday wasn’t going to happen. And facing ongoing health issues and lack of funds meant I HAD to make things simple. I wanted to somehow give my children fun memories even if I didn’t feel much like celebrating. But how?
So, I asked Jesus.
And He came to the rescue as always! He helped my little family find simple, cheap ways to put JOY and PEACE back into the holidays. I even began to enjoy this time again, rejoicing in the laughter and meaningful moments.
I hope these ideas help you, too. Use what works for your family and make them your own!
- Let go of “perfect”. Seriously. Learn to just do the best you can and be content with that! Enjoying time together is far more important than chasing perfection. Teach your kids this valuable life lesson, too.
- Do SOMEthing special. If you don’t feel like it, do it for your kids. (It will lighten your heart to see their joy.) Ask for their ideas - they have plenty! Cook/bake something special together, decorate your home a bit, get together with friends, start a new tradition (maybe a silly one). Light candles, play music, use your good dishes.
- Make your own decorations, ornaments, and/or gifts. Decorate with paper snowflakes, colorful ribbon chains, popcorn/cranberry strings, pinecones sprayed with glitter, paper flowers. Make homemade cards, ornaments, or pictures in a paper “frame”. Get out some craft supplies and be creative - the kids and your budget will love it. (It’s a great solution for the “I’m booored” complaints, too!)
- Have some Cheap Holiday Fun. Make cocoa and drive around to look at holiday lights. Play board games and listen to Christmas music. Watch a favorite holiday movie with popcorn and eggnog. (Charlie Brown Christmas and Veggie Tales anyone?) Take homemade cards or treats to neighbors. Sing Christmas carols and hand out stickers at a nursing home (my kids love this). Find a community holiday dinner to join (they’re often free) and meet other people.
- Get outside on nice days. This helps everyone’s attitudes, gives you some good exercise, and creates happy memories. Build a snowman or fort, go sledding, make snow angels. Invite another family to join you and multiply the fun.
- Help someone. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk as a family (see if you can keep it a secret). Volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army or help at a food shelf. Visit or invite other single women or lonely elderly people over for games and cocoa.
- Keep Christ in Christmas. Read the Christmas story and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. Make a birthday cake or throw a small party for Jesus (invite the kids’ stuffies and play games). Participate in your church’s Christmas programs. Teach your kids songs about Jesus’ birth. Thank Him often for coming to our world!
- Be thankful. Instead of apologizing for what you don’t have, teach your kids to look at all the blessings you DO have and thank God for them. Read about pioneer kids who were happy if they got a candy stick for Christmas. (I’m all for building healthy perspective!) Pray for starving kids in third world countries. Start a list of blessings and hang it on the wall - it will be long! Take small gifts or treats to a less-fortunate family.
- Shop at the Dollar Store and Thrift Stores. It’s amazing what you can find there if you poke around. Great places to find decorations, wrapping and craft supplies, even simple gifts. Wrap up a bunch of small gifts and it looks like a lot - half the fun for kids is just anticipating and unwrapping things!
- Take time to cry and grieve if you need to. Tears are healing and a relief – it’s okay to mourn what has been lost. Then get out your Bible and let God’s Word breathe peace into your heart. Share your feelings with your kids and let them talk about theirs. Then pray together. They need this too.
- Hug your kids often. Say “I love you” a LOT. Let them know they are God’s gifts to you!
- LAUGH. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22). Read comic books together, sing silly songs, watch a funny movie, have a goofy face contest. Fake it if you have to. Soon you’ll all feel better and you’ll even stay healthier!
- Take care of yourself. You are important. Schedule needed medical checkups, take a daily multivitamin (including Vitamin D), eat as healthfully as you can, get enough sleep(!), and do something you enjoy each week. You will have more to give to others when your soul is rested. Just say “no” to extra activities if you need a rest.
- Ask for help. Yes, I mean it. You need it and it’s what the Church Body is supposed to do. It’s okay to let your pastor or other caring folks know you have a need. Lookup community resources that help low-income families with food and gifts. God will bless them for being a blessing to you - and one day it will be your turn to bless others!
- If you will be alone … find another single lady and share a meal or tea/coffee together. Visit a shut-in or elderly neighbor. Attend a local holiday dinner and brighten someone else’s day with conversation and a smile. Fellowship with someone! And then do something you never get a chance to do – read a good book or magazine, take a bubble bath, try a new hairstyle. Chat with a friend. Go shopping without kids for once.
- Enjoy some personal time with your Savior! HE is the source of joy and peace! Schedule some time to just sit and chat with Him. Let Gods word restore your soul. Bask in the gift of His amazing, unending love for you!
I’d love to hear your ideas and tips – please leave a comment below. And have a Joy-Full Holiday season! J
12/7/2017; Megan McNeal