Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
So how to go through the holidays so that you come out happy on the other side? Here are some tips to make the most out of it!
Firstly, focus on being grateful. For family, who is there for you no matter what. For friends, who love and support you. For the generosity of those who cooked for you or got you a gift just to make you happy. And finally, for the difficulties you’ve encountered this past year, because they gave you the opportunity to overcome them.
Secondly, avoid going into emotionally charged family issues. This is not a good time. Try putting aside your differences and remember why you all came together in the first place -- to enjoy each other’s company and be thankful for everything you have.
On a practical note, it helps to make a checklist with all the things you want to accomplish, ranked by their importance or urgency. When you’re done, encourage your partner or kids to help you cross off each item in its turn, so that it becomes a fun family activity. This can look something like this:
- Write Happy Holidays cards for friends
- Shop for presents (it is better to decide in advance who gets what)
- Shop for dinner / party (again, make a list and never go to the supermarket hungry)
- Clean the house for guests or cook
By the same token, it might also help to plan a schedule. Decide on which day you are going gift shopping, when are you invited to dinner at your friends’ house, and when you need to pick up your auntie from the airport. This way you will avoid those frantic last minute tasks.
Finally, set aside time for you and your (close) family to be together. Many people invite or visit all their relatives at once and this can be overwhelming. Whether you are guests or hosting, try to get away from everything even if it’s only for a couple of minutes of walking around the block, just you and your partner. Make sure to support each other and allow for some moments to breathe during the day.