Whether we like it or not, Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday season (even though in reality department stores like to promote Christmas as early as August). For those lucky few the holidays are a time of joy, love and reflection with those you care about most in your life. For everyone else the holiday season is a time of added stress and anxiety. We all have been there at some point, typically the “there” involves standing in a long line at 4 in the morning with a cup of black coffee and an extra layer of clothing.
Here are 5 tips for making it through the holiday season:
1. Be Flexible
Things WILL go wrong, it is unavoidable. As long as you have a backup plan for when the turkey catches on fire, you should be in good shape. When all else fails there is always take out.
2. Give, Give Give
It may sound cheesy, but giving really does help open up your heart. There is no better feeling then when you know you got your significant other other the most perfect gift. It’s a feeling that stays with you and makes all the stress that comes with this season-worth it.
3. Never Regift
Believe me we all been there. Whether it was a useless kitchen appliance or a “cute” decoration for the home from your long lost Great Aunt, it is always best to accept gifts with grace, a smile and a thank you. If it turns out that it something you will never use or want, try to see if it is something that can be donated. This will bring on that feeling you get from Tip 2 and help you remember the negative experience of receiving a bad gift in a positive light.
4. Forgive and Forget
With the long family dinners the holidays are often a time when family drama tends to pop-up. Whether it was how your sister completely forgot your birthday earlier in the year or the time you missed a family vacation because of a last-minute business trip, conversation at the dinner table should stay positive and light. Leave the August Osage County moments to cinema. If you feel the need to bring up one of these issues with a family member, try to do it in a note. It is less likely to end up with people on the floor or a fruit cake in disarray.
5. Embrace The Season
The holidays are like a whirlwind. Here one day, gone the next. It is important to fully appreciate this time of year and not take it for granted. Talk to some of your relatives that you would have otherwise not seen. Look at the bigger picture, that this is one of the few times of there year where everyone you love is in one place, at the same time. Embrace it. Need not worry though, there is always time next year for improvement, if Tip 1 becomes a reality.