As the holidays near, my moods tend to fluctuate in terms of how exciting the holidays actually are. They are either filled with memories that will last a life time or drowned with drama and bickering amongst family members, which eventually turn into grudges, and so on. As the saying goes “you can’t pick your family”. However, what you can pick is how your holiday season plays out. Whether you are hosting a Christmas lunch or joining a small gathering to celebrate the New Year, what you do is entirely up to you. If you need that little bit of inspiration get you going, here are a few things you can do in order to survive the holidays this year.
Expect the unexpected
If you are planning to host an event, you’d be wise to expect nothing to go to plan. The usual let-downs include guests not arriving on time, some of the food turning up burnt, or cancellations by people who waited until the last minute to let you know. Nothing every goes smoothly and swiftly when it comes to the holidays and sometimes, in order to survive, it’s best to simply accept this and move on. If you spend most of the day worrying about nothing going right, you’ll end up having a horrible time, neglecting the people who simply want to spend time with you.
As the holidays come around at the end of the year, it may or may not be spent with a certain loved one. If, during the course of the year, you unfortunately had a family member pass away, it is important to spend the day not mourning their loss, but instead appreciating the person with love as well the life they had lived. The holidays are a perfect time to recount past memories spend with family members so don’t shy away from this opportunity to spread some happiness.
Let it go
If your family is anything like mine, you’ll more than likely be pestered and bombarded with questions about your personal life before you even walk through the front door. The questions can often range from your dating life to your work life. Remember, just because they’re your family it does not mean that they have access to every aspect of your life. If you can, simply ignore the questions you would rather not answer or speak out and let your relatives know that you are uncomfortable with the question and would prefer not to answer. You have the right to a stress-free holiday just as much as they do, and it’s their problem if they can’t handle that.
Use your voice
As I’ve mentioned, although you love your family dearly, certain situations can make it a little hard to breathe. If you are in charge of the holiday event, never feel ashamed to reach out and ask for help, especially if the person you’re reaching out to is your guest. If you’re finding hard to keep up with the demand of hosting an event during the holiday season, delegating certain tasks to specific people may help lighten the load, leaving you with a more manageable to-do list. It’ll also get more everyone involved and talking, making it a more joyful holiday season.
By using your voice during the holiday season, you are also giving yourself the right to say ‘no’, it doesn’t even necessarily matter what exactly you’re saying ‘no’ to. Practise the mantra that it’s your holiday too and that you deserve to enjoy it as well. If someone is forcing you to take on too many tasks, let them know that it’s unacceptable and that your decision should be respected and your feelings acknowledged.
When it comes to this tip, I’m known for failing in terms of taking my own advice. When you think of the holiday season, your mind automatically jumps to two things: food and alcohol, and there’s more than often lots of it. As much as I love challenging myself to see how many things I can fit onto my plate, I always thank myself later for practicing moderation. Start of by reasonably filling your plate and if you are as really hungry as you say you are, help yourself to seconds. This will keep your stomach from being put under pressure and will ease your digestion.
Alcohol is another challenge many of us face when it comes to the holidays, and yes, I’m telling you to pace yourself here as well. The last thing you want is an embarrassing, drunk story of you being told at every holiday event in the future. Trust me, they’ll remember. Plus, you’ll avoid feeling rough the next morning.
Most importantly, make sure you enjoy yourself! You and your family will have a much better time when you’re happy.