SURVIVING/Having Joy in the HOLIDAYS
Yes, they ARE coming!!!
The holidays are 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, actually most of the time, turn out a bit different than planned. Hopefully this article will help you enjoy and relish your time with family and friends.
We WILL have FUN, and I mean it….Really, what are your expectations?
Don’t 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 come up. The occasional criticism, the annoying comments, the disagreements, is all just a part of being a family. Do not ‘get into it’ with them, or fight or be mean-spirited back; just 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. 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.
Don’t over-think or over-prepare.
Over-think means to imagine up all kinds of scenarios that might come, or might not. You cannot control everyone or everything. It is just not possible.
DO think of:
So-and-so Drives me crazy!
Some members of the family are more social than others; do not
My Best advice:
Do tell your family of the ONE or two (but NO more than that) what the important activity, or event, 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 can’t 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 to do to make you happy during the season.
Do NOT over-prepare:
You know how an animal can sense your nervousness? Well, people are the same. That is why it is vital that you relax, enjoy and savor the time together, whether it is for one hour or a week. Family will want to be with you, IF you enjoy being with them, and it is the most relaxed environment you can make it. Families are made up of complicated individuals, yet the holidays can be simple and fun if you work out the details the best you can ahead of time, then sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride it is. Just think, after all the festivities, you could possibly write a best seller of all the ‘fun’ – just be sure to change the names.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mothers Shadow, 2013, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.