As I was busy finishing up my projects this year, some folks already put together some survival tips for the Holidays, which I suggest you check out Psych Central's Holiday Tips. However, I’d like to give you my two cents/Hanukkah geld/pieces of coal on some common themes that come up this time of year:
DECK THE HALLS WITH...?: DEALING WITH DIFFERENT FAITHS
I always believe that we each create our own meaning for the Holidays we celebrate, and remember what is important to us. Certainly people all over the world celebrate different holidays this time of year, and it is important that we are cognizant of the diversity. While Christmas time has certainly been blown out of proportion with commercializing, something emerges that we all can relate and share in: Tis’ the season for giving, remembering loved ones, and being joyous for a couple days off work (if we’re lucky).
All in all, remember that being open to new experiences and sharing in new traditions that are foreign to you does not meant that you have ‘converted.’ Rather, you have learned new traditions that make your partner feel as though they are loved ….even if they cringe every time “Deck the Halls” comes on the radio!
“GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER”: WHAT TO DO WITH THE IN-LAWS?
I have had a lot of conversations about this with my friends and colleagues – Where are you spending the holidays? This conversation usually turns into a play by play of the daily events starting with “7:00a the kids wake us, we open gifts until 7:25a…….” My personal favorite this year was a friends sister who put together an excel spreadsheet of whose house her and her husband were going to rotate between for the next 7 years. As a Type A person, I found this to be ingenious. However, it can be quite stressful to decide ‘who gets what night.’ Certainly, having 8 nights might make this process a bit easier!
Again, I think dealing with different families takes patience and understanding on everyone’s part. As much as we, our parents and extended family wish, we are growing up as adults and have our ‘own lives’ which require our attention. Unfortunately, we cannot be held captive at the Kids Table anymore.
My personal approach to this is to take time to think about what is most important to you and your partner – and what is feasible. Remember to have a frank conversation about what each of you would like, what traditions are important to you and your family, and what new traditions you’d like to start. This might help figure out these not so fun details.
Regardless of any situation…sometimes we wish we could just have another cup of that egg-nog!
Best wishes for a Happy, Hectic-free, Holiday Season!
Until Next Year,