Holidays are a time of high emotion. They are primarily about family and loved ones, who most of the time are the same people. The holidays, and concomitant beliefs and emotions, lead to certain choices as to how they will be celebrated. Perhaps, however, you are one of those who blocks out and shuts down during these traditional times. Surely there are reasons for that choice. If so, I hope that you will one day soon re-examine the holiday in such a way as to be able to enjoy the meaning and mirth that is possible by participating in these special days.
Many couples and family members spend much time discussing the holidays as to how they should be spent.. They oftentimes have struggles as to what is the “right” thing to do as they try to unite their past beliefs and customs with their emerging ideas and life styles. Various pressures and expectations from significant others often cause consternation and conflict as holiday issues appear which need resolution.
The following questions may serve as reasonable vehicles for self awareness and communication, as individuals and couples clarify and define their WHO, WHY,WHAT, and HOW holiday concerns:
WHO are the people close to you? List and number them in order of closeness. This should include family, relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Who are the people who put pressure on you? Who are the people with whom you most want to share this time?
WHY are the people in the order you have them? Is it because they are all that close to you or you “should” have them there?
WHAT do these people expect from you during the holidays? What do you expect from them? What kind of changes might be in order this year? Possible areas of discussion are meal arrangements, travel plans, lengths of stay, gifts, etc…
HOW do you want to celebrate the holidays this year based on the above determinations? Are changes in traditional styles and expectations called for?
Holidays are special. They are meant to lift our spirits, warm our hearts, and be shared with the special people we love. Hopefully this information will be helpful to you in making appropriate choices for you and the people that mean the most to you. May your choices bring forth the best holiday ever!