While the holiday season can be a lovely time to reconnect with family and friends, it can also be a challenging time. That is why it can be helpful to spend some time reflecting on what is important to you this holiday season and then creating a plan to ensure you have the holiday you desire.
First, spend some time clarifying your values for this particular year. Do you prefer a simpler or more extravagant season? One that is more or less spiritual? Do you wish to prioritizes experiences or material objects? Would you like more time with extended family or with friends, or less? Do you want to travel to see family or invite them to travel to see you? Do you want to spend extended time with family or more limited time? Or maybe none at all? This can be an important discussion to have with your partner to make sure you are in agreement.
Once you are more clear on what is important to you, decide how you are going to structure your holiday. Remember, just because things have always been done in a particular way in the past does not mean that those traditions have to be upheld every year, especially if they don’t feel enjoyable, authentic, or meaningful to you. There may be people you do not care to see or events you do not care to attend because they do not currently fit your ideas of how you want to spend your holidays. It is okay if things need to change! We have different needs at different times in our lives. When we have small children, for example, traveling or attending multiple holiday celebrations may feel too challenging.
Finally, let others know your boundaries, expectations, and needs ahead of time. It may help to let them know the reasons behind your plans. While some family members may not understand, that does not mean you need to change your ideas. Just remember your personal priorities in order to create a holiday that is representative of what is important to you!