- Understand the purpose of the holiday: It is a special way to commemorate a historical person or event. Or, to honor service in others, or religious meaning. Holidays include cultural, religious and family traditions and rituals.
- Think about the financial aftermath: Don’t fall into traps that can potentially jeopardize your well-being by over spending. Pay bills first and plan around what you have left. Scrambling to pay the rent or keep the electricity on only generates anxiety. A well thought out letter of appreciation or homemade cookies or ornament go a long way. It’s about the “acknowledgement of relationship.”
- Choose what traditions and rituals are important and have meaning to you and your family: Ask. Don’t assume. Negotiate if there are some differences. Focus on those that are important. Understand that some years, for whatever reason, everything is not going to get done.
- Give yourself permission to make changes: If a tradition is too overwhelming or labor intensive you have the right to alter, change or eliminate it.
- Learn to ask for help: This does not mean you are a failure. There is joy and camaraderie in doing something together. A shared effort and investment in the process can reduce resentment especially if you feel you are the “only-one-who-does-it-all!”
- Think about delegating responsibility to others: Remember to delegate only the things that you can accept when they are not done YOUR way. If you have children it can be a teaching and bonding experience. Whether it’s asking for help with the meal,putting up decorations or shopping. The people who care about you will hopefully step-up.
And if they don’t… coal!