Coping with Your Kid’s Holiday Hangover

BY GENA KITTNER

I think my 3-year-old is suffering from a holiday hangover. After 10 awesomely jammed-packed days in Ohio over Christmas, our return to Arizona has resulted in a moody, tired kid who doesn’t want to eat. You know the feeling.

Is your child having a hard time coping with the letdown after the holidays? Read how one mom handed the holiday hangover with her three-year-old.

The biggest problem, thus far, has been the disposal of our (once) live Christmas tree. We got our tree Thanksgiving weekend, and since then, Ellie has grown quite attached. As we packed away ornaments on New Year’s Eve, she asked, “But how are we going to fit the tree in that box?”

Bad news, kid: The tree is headed for our wood pile. But as an upside, I’m sure we’ll be vacuuming up needles for the next 12 months.

Then I came downstairs to find our now undecorated tree freshly adorned with Ellie’s hair ties.

Strike one.

I tried to get her excited about New Year’s, explaining how we were going to a party and she could wear a fancy dress. This somehow turned in to daddy’s birthday party (because I said it was at daddy’s friend’s house), which prompted her to spend 24 hours asking when we were going to have cake.

Strike two.

So I’ve decided to embrace Valentine’s Day a little early and decorate the inside of our front door — near where the tree stood — with hearts and the like.

We started by finally hanging up all the wonderful Christmas cards we received while we were gone. I covered clothespins with heart washi tape to make the display look more Valentine’s than Christmas and attached them to a red string of stars.

Next, I took a brown paper bag and drew block letters and hearts for Ellie to paint. After cutting those out Ellie taped them to the door, at her level, of course. This leaves plenty of room for us eventually to make and hang a wreath.

Success.

This seems to have helped her holiday withdraw for the moment, although she’s still asking randomly for presents, and then having a mini-meltdown when I tell her we don’t have any more and Christmas is over.

The holidays are so much fun to celebrate with children, but I’m finding it important to remember that all the excitement, travel and gifts takes its toll on kiddos as well as adults.

Let’s hope a week of our regular routine–combined with a few new crafts and distractions–is just what the doctor ordered.


Gena is a Midwest transplant living in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, Ellie. When not killing scorpions, Gena writes about food and family. Follow her on Twitter @genakittner, and check out her previous guest posts on Mommy Sanest.

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