Surviving the Holidays

Posted on November 19, 2012

The holiday season brings many emotions as families navigate the often challenging process of celebrating together.  Excitement, frustration, anxiety, happiness, nervousness, sadness, and even anger can be part of this experience.  For many, the holidays are a time where being around family is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  For others, being with family is exciting and fulfilling.  Below are a few tips on how to survive the holiday season regardless of your family experience. 

Identify Your Holiday Priorities

Keeping a list of priorities and noting them by importance will help you stay organized throughout the holiday season.  Make sure you accomplish the items at the top of your list realizing that not all your items may get checked off.  Allow yourself forgiveness if things don’t get done.

Set Holiday Boundaries

If family celebrations make you anxious, then limit the amount of time you are in family situations.  Allow yourself permission to time limit your interactions with family members by clearly stating that you will only be staying for specified amount of time (1 hour, 3 hours, etc.)  Also give yourself permission to decline invitations to set a clear, safe boundary. 

Start Your Own Holiday Traditions

If family gatherings are unhealthy, begin your own holiday tradition of inviting trusted friends over to celebrate.  Make a meal, play games, go to a movie, or simply be in one another’s presence.  This can also include a day alone.  Read your favorite book or take a walk and just enjoy the quiet.    

Remember Why We Celebrate

In the hustle of the holiday season it’s easy to forget why we celebrate this time of year.  Pause and reflect on the joyous birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Say a prayer, read about His birth in the bible, or rejoice in songs that speak of His coming.  Christmas really is about the joyous salvation and forgiveness we have in Christ, which can be celebrated regardless of our family experiences. 

 

Written by: Kristie L. Watts, LMFTA

Kristie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Groff and Associates Counseling.  Her passions are parent child relationships, grief and loss, and pregnancy related struggles.  If you are interested in seeing a counselor and think that Kristie would be a good fit, please contact her at kristie@groffandassociates.com.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==