DD is 3 1/2 and as if 3 1/2 isn't enough , DD is highly spirited. I've read Raising Your Spirited Child, and they touch on the holidays in the book but they don't give a whole lot of ideas. I was wondering what other families do with there highly spirited transition challenged children during the holidays.
DH and I are prepared to leave with DD when things become too much for her or take her to a quiet place to calm down and regroup but she is a child that get super hyped in crowds and we will be with our large families much of the time. Christmas alone we start Christmas Eve out at our house hosting my family for dinner and opening gifts, in the morning (we've suspended opening gifts at home until the day after Christmas or sometimes two days after Christmas just to give DD a break) we get up early and head to DH's parents where his whole family gathers, we have breakfast and open gifts, about 4:00 pm we leave there and head to my Grandmother's house where my family and extended family gather to eat dinner and exchange gifts between the children. Within a 24 hour period there are three major transitions and a whole lot of little ones which cause major stress and meltdowns. And that doesn't include the family Christmas parties leading up to Christmas.
Please don't suggest changing our schedule. DH and I have been over it many times, neither of us are happy about it but we can't find an compromising alternative at this time. We are just looking for ideas to cope and make it a little easier on DD. Thanks!