The holiday season can be a time of celebration and making memories, but for busy families, the pressure to keep up with a hectic schedule and preparations can create stress and anxiety. That's why Fidelis Care and The Strong museum are teaming up to offer five simple strategies to help families stress less this December. 

According to Dr. Lisa Moreno, Fidelis Care Pediatrician, the key is focusing on the things that matter. "You can make the holiday season more enjoyable for the whole family by focusing on what is really important," she said. "Prioritize family activities at home, build in downtime for the kids, make time for yourself, and remember to enjoy the moments that matter."  

Dr. Moreno and Debbie McCoy, Assistant Vice President for Education at The Strong museum, offer the following tips for families:  

Plan Ahead: Keep a family calendar and prioritize family activities. Knowing the events and gatherings you'll attend ahead of time will help keep your family on track.  

It's OK to say no: You don't have to do it all or attend every function. Everyone will benefit from some quiet time at home. 

Eat Healthy: Sweet treats and extra sugary holiday snacks will be in high demand during the holidays – and although kids will indulge, try to offset some of the junk food by packing healthy snacks while out shopping or plan healthy family dinners at home whenever possible.   

Set a Good Example: How you approach this holiday season will influence your kids. Be sure to set aside some time for the activities you enjoy.  

Remember to Play: Plan a game night—where children and adults can choose their favorite card and board games—and be sure to get outside for some active play, whether sledding or snow sculpting (or even a friendly snowball fight—with safety in mind, of course).

"Play is not just for fun, it's critical to emotional health and development," added McCoy. "When schedules get busy over the holidays, remember to make time to play together as a family. Playing together can allow for building stronger family relationships, making memories, relieving stress, and experiencing joy." 

It's important to remember what the holiday season is really about. With less stress, the holidays can be more enjoyable. There are many things to focus on during this time, but the most important thing to focus on is having fun.