This is the time of year to make the holidays just right for your family. Finding the way to create them so that you, as well as the children, enjoy each moment takes time. The rewards are worth it. Sadly, a word most used as the holidays approach is stress. Some of you stress because you try to do too much and feel worn out. Maybe you think you aren’t doing enough or as much as you used to do. Either way, you are being robbed of vitality and of the joy that you would like to feel. It’s time to let go of the stress and enjoy the season.
Perhaps the best way to make sure the holidays fit for your family is to look at your values. Some of you would like to make them simpler. One could entertain less, buy fewer gifts, decorate more simply or even send minimal cards. Yet you get caught up on other’s expectations, advertising, or past experiences of the holidays. There are some of you who thoroughly enjoy the fanfare and festivities. Money has been saved so that you can go all out for the season. Now guilt comes in to play because you do not want to simplify, yet feel that you should. Regardless of what you like, let’s look at ways to do it so that when the special day arrives you are as excited and happy as the children.
Those of you who want to simplify might feel that the children will be disappointed. Make a family project of deciding what traditions to keep and which no longer serve. When kids are involved in decision-making, they buy into changes. Here are some things to consider. Your family will come up with other ideas.
Breaking the cycle of big holidays requires looking carefully at your values and taking the leap of making this year one of change. Everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Maybe this December you do one or two things differently. Next year you may do more. The important thing is to decide as a family how to celebrate and then to enjoy the choices you have made.
Some of you love this time of year more than any other. You enjoy spending the time and energy making the holidays special by doing as much as you can. If this is you, bring the family in on the decisions about making the most of the season. Here are some ideas to get you started so that you aren’t exhausted when the special day arrives.
As I look at the cover of magazines, I notice that there is much emphasis on simplifying life. Not everyone wants to simplify. Perhaps you don’t, and for that you feel guilty. You may think you should want to. Take a look at your values, at the things you like to do, and the ways you like to do them. If you want to go all out, toss guild out the window and enjoy the ride.
Whether you simplify or go the whole nine yards, consider giving to someone less fortunate than you. Most malls have Christmas trees with names of those needing a gift. Many churches have giving programs. Most communities have a holiday meal for the homeless where volunteer servers are welcomed, including children. There is no better way to teach children the art of giving than to participate in a project that reaches beyond the family and into the community.
However you choose to celebrate the holidays, I wish you the most joyous of seasons.