Taking into account your children's ages and interest levels, include them in holiday planning and preparations. Parents often set themselves up for trouble by making holiday plans without getting input from kids, sometimes even without even realistically considering the kids.
Do your best to make holiday plans that will work for the whole family. This doesn't mean you hand over the decisions to your children, but seeking and considering their input can really help minimize some unnecessary conflict and stress. If kids are too young to offer meaningful input, be sure to consider their limitations, interests, and abilities in your plans.
Remember, often times less is more. Leave room for rest, relaxation, and spontaneity during your holiday season. Planning and structure are good things, no doubt about it. However, don't try to do so much that you get to the end of your holiday and vacation time, and wish you had vacation time to rest from your vacation time. Make sure to celebrate the traditions that are important to you and your children, and be willing to let go of traditions that may be low on meaning but big on time and energy (stress).
If your family doesn't really have meaningful traditions for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, etc, try some new things this year and see if they are worth repeating in years to come. Such traditions could center on religious beliefs and family values, relationships among family and friends, special meals or other gatherings, fun times with gifts or stockings, special games played, connecting in special ways with the community, or so many other things that can bring rich meaning to the holidays
Helping Your Child Understand Thanksgiving
Supplies: 24 matchboxes, red/green paints, small brush, scraps of wrapping paper, ribbon, glue stick, small trinkets, candy
Assemble: Paint the match boxes. Cut small scraps of paper to line the inside of each box. Use an ice pick to punch a small hole in the center back of each box. Thread ribbon through to form a hanger. Wrap another slip of paper around the matchbox cover, adhere with glue stick. Add numbers to the bottom center of each matchbox cover. (You can find button numbers, stick-on numbers, etc. in the scrapbook department of your local crafts store.)