The weather is cooling down, the days are shorter, and the holidays are right around the corner. Inevitably, the holiday season brings new challenges to my clients as they navigate family conflicts, scheduling issues, and financial stressors that always come with this time of year. However, with a little bit of structure and patience, the holidays can also be the most enjoyable time of the year. Below I’ve included some tips to help your holiday season go as smoothly as possible.
Remember that you cannot create the ideal scenario for everyone. It’s not worth your sanity to try to mold yourself into everyone’s desired schedule for the holiday season. Try to navigate scheduling time with family and friends as best as you can, but be aware that you can and should say no when you need to.
You don’t have to spend every last dime for the perfect holiday house, holiday tree, holiday meal, holiday gifts, etc. Be aware of your budget and stick to it so you aren’t financially strapped going into the new year.
Set boundaries as needed to create a relaxing instead of conflictual atmosphere around family get togethers. The Thanksgiving table or Christmas morning may not be the best time to air out old grievances. Let your family members know ahead of time of particularly tense conversations that you do not intend to engage in if you feel they might come up.
It is perfectly acceptable to take time simply for yourself and your immediate family. You do not have to spend every holiday with extended family if time, finances, and preferences do not allot for that.
Take an extra day or two off from work following the actual holidays if you can. It’s always good to have an extra day to recover from the travel and busyness that the holidays entail.
Above all, be mindful of the intention behind the holiday season. Expressing gratitude and spending time with family and friends is more important than having the perfect Thanksgiving spread or Christmas tree setup. Create your own joy!