The holiday season can be a challenging and hectic time for many of us, particularly when we are hoping to spend a lot of time with family and friends. Because we have so many things we are juggling over the season, we often lose sight of what we should really be focused on. We often get carried away in the preparations and excitement of everything that we overlook the people we love and want to be around on a regular basis. So, how do we bring the focus back to family and loved ones and spend time more with the people we really want to during the holidays? Read on to find out how.
Communicate a family plan. Gather the members of your family and discuss the holiday plan regarding events and gatherings. If something out of the ordinary is happening with your family, either due to a recent death or marriage, or someone who has moved or is unable to join you this year, it’s important to tell your children about it in advance so they are prepared. Keep the lines of communication open and support kids by listening to what they want and asking how they feel about the plan.
Start a new family tradition. Your family should have something special to do every year to celebrate the holidays, and if you don’t, now is the perfect time to start! It could be taking a family portrait, making a special dinner toast or speech, decorating the tree or a million other things. Discover tips to keep family traditions alive or create your own.
Honour the elders in your family. The holidays are the ideal time to show love and respect for the matriarchs or patriarchs of your family. Older family members have a lot of wisdom and knowledge to share, and festive family gatherings are the perfect place for them to impart stories of family history. Have children ask questions about their past daily life and celebrations and compare and contrast them to their current lives.
Be positive and loving. When socializing with relatives and friends, remember that you won’t always get along with everyone, or necessarily even want to spend a lot of time with them. This is normal in all families, but don’t waste too much energy on it. Don’t spend dinner seething about something that can’t be changed at the present. Be kind and respectful to everyone, even if you are feeling upset or irritated. And consider not spending time with certain people if it’s just too stressful for you or your family. You want to create happy memories for your children, not have them reminisce on uncomfortable dinners where relations are strained.
Celebrate the things that matter. Decide what’s most important to you and your family during the holidays, whether it’s supporting your local charity, playing outside together, or reconnecting with old friends and neighbours.
No matter what you and your family do for the holidays, remember that you can spend more time together by making it a priority. Try not to get too caught up in preparations and planning and what the Jones’ are doing. Your kids will remember a quiet family walk in the woods on a beautiful day much more than another festive party at someone’s house.