Oh, there’s nothing like the holiday’s, a time of thanksgiving, joy and the occasional family argument over the dinner table. For some of us the holidays are not the most joyous times they can often be the most stressful times.
Growing up I have had countless bad holidays where I went in with the thought of being in a great happy mood and someone ruins it. Being an American we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, but of course there is Hanukah and Kwanza to name other celebrations, but there is many times a common theme families spending time together.
For some reading this you may say well our family is not like that, we are one big happy family and if that is so I applaud you and your families civility during the holidays, not always the case. During this time we as people find one of times to gather around the Turkey, Ham, Roast or whatever you eat for this time and bicker about our lives, how little Johnny is a spoil kid who is never happy, or how Aunt Edna is fighting the tax man, you name it probably has been spoken about especially politics.
I for one don’t discuss politics for one my opinions are my own and choose to keep those to myself but not everyone is so fortunate. During this time in the United States and probably the UK you probably have tons to discuss in the world of politics, I would say be cautious about that subject. So what is the point of this piece to prepare you for the best and worst in the holidays.
I know that sounds really cynical, the worst of holidays, man you must really hate the holidays and I really don’t I just haven’t had the most memorable holidays because of those in my life who want to argue and make it their duty to ruin it, something I would never wish for anyone.
Here are some tips to prepare you and lay the groundwork for a nice, peaceful holiday season.
1. Have a Discussion
For those known family members and friends, you intend to spend time with try to lay the groundwork for what should be discussed at the dinner table to speak. You may think that as a strange request and call family and friends and say what you can and can’t speak about, but really come to an agreement on what is allowed to prevent arguments over your holiday turkey.
2. Know What To Expect
You remember Aunt Edna right, she is a strange and opinionated Aunt and you all love her but she goes over board at times, be patient, be kind and don’t let those you know already to be troublemakers ruin your time. We all have those family members that frankly you can’t stand but in the spirit you want to be nice, because you really only see them once a year.
3. Stay at a Hotel
Yeah, I know staying at home saves money, you get to sleep in your old bedroom, but don’t do it. Staying at a hotel gives you the peace to leave the family event decompress and if you have the kids and wife/husband you can enjoy some peace together as a family. I know this is personal choice to stay in your family home and if really do love staying at your home go for it, but for those situations when you don’t have the best environments stay at a hotel and keep your sanity.
4. Have Patience
The holidays are stressful especially if you have to travel abroad or to another state, long lines, delayed flights, tons of people. I can not imagine why people put themselves through that, but I guess its once a year its fine, but be patient, know it will be busy, don’t lose it with the kids and wife or husband, you will get through it. Know you are not alone and before you know it you will be back business as usual.
5. Don’t Talk Politics/Religion
Kind of mentioned in point# 1 but really during this very political time in United States and UK history maybe that topic of discussion and religion too, although If your faith is part of your family, then by all means its important to make that part of your holidays. All to often you have those really opinionated family members who love to push the right buttons on those topic causing a frenzy of anger over their views and not always accepting of others views.
6. Be Thankful
Be Thankful you have a family to spend the holidays with, many do not unfortunately. We live in a time when many are homeless without food and family or many going through hardships. Remember to be thankful of the position you are in, because we could all have it a lot worse because being alone during the holidays. I recommend trying to be more giving to those less fortunate during these times.
7. Shopping/Gift Buying
One of the main points to the holidays is shopping fortunately and unfortunately can be a stressful time especially if you are hitting the shops, the malls, the park lots full of people. Try to create a strategy of shopping online to save you the hassle and stress and leave it to your favorite online retailer. Understand you will not make everyone happy with your gift choices, so always provide a gift receipt so they can choose what they like.
8. Don’t Break The Bank
But I want to give the best gift I can even if I go into a debt doing it, Don’t Do IT! If you have the means to give great gifts by all means do it, but if you are on a strict budget don’t beat yourself over it, give something reasonable within your budget, but the other party is unhappy well tough luck, you can not please everyone. All too often you see so many going into debt spending thousands on gift, money many don’t have in the first place, so why do it because we wish to show our love once a year.
Enjoy the Time of Year
It’s amazing for many when we think of holidays we think of eating, spending time with family and spending money, but It gets lost is Family, spending time with family. All too often we don’t know what family members will be around next year, people unfortunately pass unexpectedly, become ill and go through difficult times.
The years also tend to fly by, I can’t count the many years that have passed, and I don’t fully remember those holidays with family but know the existed especially with my mother who is no longer with us.
These times are meant to reflect on your life, how you can be better, what changes you can make in the new year too , a restart of new. Take these tips and make them your own to have a somewhat peaceful holiday season and start of the new year very soon.