I have written about some of the struggles the holiday season can bring in some of my past blog posts. Check out here and here for a recap. While there are all sorts of factors that can make the holiday season challenging, family can be at the top of that list. It can be especially challenging to try and balance fitting everyone in, especially if you or your partner is a part of a blended family. Whether you have been juggling family for the last 20 years or this is your first Christmas trying to squeeze everyone in, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can keep your sanity as well.
1. Plan ahead. If you know in advance when family gathering will be, you can decide what you are able to attend and can let family know ahead of time if you will not be around. It can be tough, especially it is at the last minute, to tell family you will not be able to make a gathering. The sooner you can have that conversation the better.
2. Don’t try to do it all. It is not a good time sitting down to eat one holiday dinner and then heading to another relatives house to try and stuff down another one. It can be tough to say no to Aunt Marth’s annual supper, but this is where point #1 comes in.
3. Remember the reason for the season. Whether you celebrate Christmas/Kwanza/ Hanukkah/ Winter Solstice, this is the time of year to celebrate peace and love. If holiday obligations have you envisioning daggers rather than sugar plums, it is time to re-evaluate everything that is on your plate.
4. Think outside the box. It’s tough to decide where to go when you have 4 family suppers the same day. If possibly try suggesting gatherings at another time, like brunch or lunch, to change things up and offer a little bit of flexibility.
5. Take some time for yourself. Make sure you give yourself a break to just relax and take everything in. Whether that be a moment for a coffee before everyone gets up, or a quiet time in the evening after the party has wrapped up. Give yourself time to catch your breath, reflect on the past year and think about what is in store for 2016.