With the holidays rolling right around the corner, I’m sure you’re already starting to feel the overwhelm creep up. Presents to be bought, cards to be sent, photos to be taken, clothes to be seen to, and let’s not even go to the baking and cooking!
While we all want the holidays to be about happiness, cheer and warmth, they usually end up being about loads of crazy shopping, stressed out decorating and cranky people at home. Sad but true.
This year, let’s change all of that.
Let’s set some ground rules for happier holiday seasons for the family. Don’t worry, it isn’t as ominous as it sounds.
In fact, family holiday rules are a wonderful way to truly remember what the holidays are all about. Think of them like a mission statement, a decision-making tool. When you’re trying to decide whether you should make those Christmas cookies from scratch or buy them from the store, these rules will come handy.
Okay? Great, here are 5 family holiday rules to help make this festive season a happier affair for everyone! Use these as is or use them as the foundation to make your own family holiday rules.
1. Leave the “Should Do’s” and Stick with the “Want To’s”
Your family holiday rules must do away with what you should be doing to enjoy the holidays and instead focus on what everyone wants to do.
Sit around the family room, sip on some hot cocoa and discuss what everyone would like to do this holiday season. An easy way to arrive at a consensus is that each family member gets 1 or 2 activities of their choice.
Don’t go by what your parents thought holidays should be about or what the neighbors or the moms at school think Christmas and Hanukkah should be about.
Believe in what your family wants and enjoys and stick with that.
2. Plan to Have a Peace-Filled Season
Planning is the key to enjoying the usually busy holiday season. Make it a point to pencil in dates for Christmas shopping, holiday card photo shoots, clothes shopping, baking or any other activities that your family decides to go for.
Having it all on your calendar will ensure you don’t end up packing too much in to a single day which, by the way, is a sure shot recipe for overwhelm.
3. Create Holiday Traditions that are True to You
Holidays traditions that were great for your parents and grandparents may not be the same for your family.
Choose or create traditions that add warmth, love and belongingness for your loved ones.
Whether it is starting a gratitude jar on Thanksgiving or volunteering at the soup kitchen on Christmas eve, choose a tradition that has meaning for your family values and don’t just follow one because it has always been followed.
4. Stay Nourished… the Mental Way
The holidays are definitely a time when the body is filled with wholesome and yummy foods but the soul not so much.
This holiday season make it a commitment to nourish your soul as well by weaving in quiet time, rest days and doing everyday things that refresh you, like going for a run in the morning or heading to the coffee shop to finish reading a book.
Have all family members take some time on their own to reflect, recharge and renew their souls as well.
5. Enjoy the Experience More than the Event
Finally, and most importantly, remember to enjoy the experience of the holidays and not the event. In other words, make Christmas or Hanukkah more about the memories you’ll make rather than the presents you’ll open. Make it about the laughter you’ll hear rather than the stuff you’ll collect.
Family holiday rules can be a fun, simple and effective way to bring back the spirit of love, contentment, togetherness, and joy. How will your family be enjoying the holidays this year?
Prerna Malik is the owner of The Mom Writes, a site that offers smart solutions to work-at-home moms. When she isn’t blogging for a living or running a social media agency with her husband, she’s baking cupcakes with her daughter or organizing a closet in her home. Download her free eBooks on organizing and productivity for busy mom entrepreneurs today!