Holiday Traditions: Yours, Mine, and Ours

December 17, 2014

The holidays are supposed to be full of fun and exciting times spent with family and friends, right? This is usually the case, but sometimes being overly scheduled can become more of a pain then a joy. Between the planning, shopping, traveling, and cooking it all becomes stressful. One big part of holiday stress is trying to decide where to spend the holidays. In hopes of helping reduce the holiday stress, here are a few tips to help you and your partner decide.

By: Savannah Stoute, LPC-Intern Supervised by Leslie Larson, LPC-S

By: Savannah Stoute, LPC-Intern
Supervised by Leslie Larson, LPC-S

  1. Don’t commit to anything before talking about it – your parents might call and suddenly you feel guilty and you commit to spending Christmas at your parent’s house and on the same day your partner confirms with his or her grandmother. Simply telling your family that you want to check before confirming will hopefully work, if it doesn’t, don’t give up. By not confirming with either family, you can take the time to discuss your wants and needs without hurting any feelings.
  2. Discuss your priorities – If you have an ill family member, then spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with them might become a priority. Your finances and busy schedules can also determine how you spend your holidays or if you decide to stay home.
  3. Try alternating – Alternating holidays can make it easier for both families to plan as well. If you spend Thanksgiving with your parents, then spending Christmas or Hanukah with your in laws would be nice for your partner. The following year you can switch. Alternating holidays can also help you plan your schedules and finances through the end of the year.
  4. Talk about your favorite traditions as a kid or come up with your own – On occasion, you might prefer to spend the holidays at home with just you and the kids (or just the two of you). You can take this time to talk about your favorite traditions as a kid. Tell your favorite stories or why these traditions mean so much to you and why you want to incorporate them. If you don’t have any traditions you want to incorporate, take some time to come up with your own. Get the kids involved as well. You can sing carols, decorate cookies, or volunteer in your community.
  5. Be Flexible – You might spend the whole year planning to go to your parents for Thanksgiving, then the last minute, something comes up and you have to cancel. It might not work out this year, but you can always plan an extra trip in a few months or plan for your parents to come visit you.

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