Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas--loving it!

The holiday season is an exceptionally important celebration in my family, a fact that at times leads to a lot of pressure and friction as family members each pursue their own ideas of what constitutes the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Children marry and have kids of their own, bringing new obligations and traditions into play

Some coping strategies that have worked for me over the years include:
  1.  Embrace new traditions as well as honoring old ones. When we understand why a specific tradition is meaningful to a loved one, it is easy for us to embrace it. Encouraging all family members to talk openly about what is special to them about the holidays helps create a shared sense of wonder and excitement. As well, such discussions allow us to eliminate stressful traditions that are no longer important. 
  2. Easily and willingly adapting our celebrations to accommodate the changing lifestyles of family members is very soothing on everyone’s nerves. It’s just a matter of admitting that what worked well twenty years ago, might not be as workable or enjoyable today.
  3. Invest energy in the traditions that make you happiest, don’t wait for others to create that happiness for you. And don’t fret about the time or money you invest, remind yourself that you are doing it because it what you love doing. 
  4. Reduce the focus on gifts and giving to accommodate the financial situations of everyone involved. After all, that’s not what Christmas is all about. 
  5. The Christmas traditions that make us so happy were gifted to us by our ancestors and it’s important to take the time to share fond memories of loved ones who are no longer with us. Sharing memories of Christmases past will bond the generations. 
  6. To determine what is important about the season to you, think back to what you remember most about long-ago Christmases. The lights, the colours, the music. Family gatherings, Christmas concerts and Bible stories. Oranges, nuts, candy canes, turkey, wrapping paper and Christmas cards—the most treasured memories often have nothing to do with big expenses and everything to do with sharing the wonders of the season with those you love. 
From my family to yours,
Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
all the best to you and yours
in 2015! 

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