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Surviving and Enjoying The Holidays

Great ideas on making the holidays a great experience

The holidays can be so wonderful, and exhausting too. With expectations, family dynamics and all the plannings it takes also. I have some tips to make it less complicated.

Surviving and Enjoying The Holidays Stress Free As A Family

Let’s make sure we avoid THIS

And have the BEST season EVER!  WE are going to not only SURVIVE the holiday, but have JOY and amazing MEMORIES!


HOW you ask?

Well, I have a few questions for you:)

Are you ready?

Are you prepared?

Mentally as well as with gifts, your home, and everything else you want and need to do?


Ready or not….

The Holidays ARE coming!!!

This time of year is highly anticipated with visits from family near and far.

However, it can be a challenge….ok, even down-right frustrating oftentimes. 

The weeks of planning, shopping, wrapping, cooking and preparing for a ‘perfect family time’ can sometimes, ok, actually most of the time, turn out a bit different than intended. 

I’ll share some tips and help here so you can Surviving and Enjoying The Holidays Stress Free with family and friends this season.


We WILL have FUN, and I mean it….


But really, what are your expectations?

Do not expect perfection from yourself or your family – it’s not reality, nor will it ever be for anyone, unless they are paid actors with a script.

People are human beings with their own quirks and personalities.

Try to imagine your family as a sit-com and get a laugh of the oddities that will most certainly occur.

The occasional criticism, the annoying comments, the small disagreements; it’s all just a part of being a family.

The key here is to do your best to forgive, and smile.

Of course if there is a serious issue, deal with it as an adult, meaning think it through, count to ten, take a long walk and breath deep to avoid lashing out, or saying something you shouldn’t that will damage relationships.

However, usually, these things are in the category of: This too shall pass and they will go home.

Show kindness and respect to everyone, not just those you get along with better, or family members who treat you more kindly and are more considerate.

If you work on being calm, happy, loving to all,  you’re giving your best, and that makes all the difference.

Mainly, do not over-think or over-prepare. Over-think means to imagine up all kinds of scenarios that might come, or might not – and 99% of the time, they don’t. You cannot control everyone or everything – It is just not possible.  So don’t try.  



What CAN you DO to prepare?

How can your scenario be –  Surviving and Enjoying The Holidays stress free?

Here are some tips: 



Let’s Think Ahead

Do’s and Don’ts:



My best advice:

Do tell your family of the ONE or two (but NO more than that) most important activities, or events to you (and spouse if it applies) that you want everyone involved in, and be clear which one it is.

This could be a family picture, a dinner, a visit to see a relative, anything, but just one or two things and that’s the rule you cannot break.

It is important that adult children have their own traditions to solidify them as a family unit and they may have the other side of the family who would like to see them also.

This makes you happy because your main event will be attended by all, and helps family members know exactly what activity to plan on above all else. Generally they don’t want to disappoint or seem rude, they just may not know what would be the one thing that would have made your most happy while there.



Do NOT over-prepare:





You know how an animal can sense your nervousness?

Well, people are the same.  

That is why it is essential that you relax.  You enjoy and savor the time together.  Whether your family is together for one hour or for a week. If you need to, sneak away for a few minutes, have some hot cocoa and remember the blessing of having family to come visit you:)



BUT remember, you can only do your part, not theirs.  So keep a proper perspective, enjoy the ride and remember that family’s are made up of complicated individuals we LOVE.  

Who knows, after all the festivities and everyone has gone home, you could possibly write a best seller – just be sure to change the names:)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mothers Shadow, 2019
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.