The Holiday Season is upon us!

With the holidays approaching everyone is thinking about family. Should we do the holidays at grandmas or maybe rent out a nice cabin on a beautiful snowy hill-side so everyone can relax and enjoy. Perhaps you’ve become very popular during this time of year and everyone would like for you to split your time between grandma, grandpa, mother-in-law, father, uncles and aunties and so on. Whatever the case may be, it can be a wonderful and stressful time of year for all of us!

Up the hill and under the bridge to Grandmother's house we go!
Up the hill and under the bridge to Grandmother’s house we go!

This time of year also brings to mind those people who don’t have families to celebrate with. It’s amazing how your frame of mind can change on a drop of a dime when you see someone with no one. It’s times like these that remind me to be true to the spirit of the holiday and remember the traditions that made it worth celebrating.

At our marina I have come across multiple millennials who have chosen a way of life img_2821that distance them from their family members. They talk of friends and colleagues being their family and think only of the great times to come because they’re in charge of creating them. Though we aren’t on the same paths, it’s refreshing to see the holiday season through these kinds of eyes.

So what is family? We want so badly to spend good quality time with our family but for a lot of people, that is more work than reward. So why not change the definition of family? Prepare for the spirit of the holiday to be one filled with family that builds you up to be better than you are! Reviving your soul for the year to come and push you to better the world around you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to go out and tell all of your family that you no longer want to spend the holiday season with them because they drive you nuts! But I do think it’s smart to be honest with your family, and make these holiday gatherings times that you will remember fondly and want to do again in the future. All people want to enjoy themselves when it comes down to the heart of it. And if someone is truly a loved one, then they love to see you enjoy yourself as well. So here are some tips to get that conversation rolling…

  1. Ask family members to have a holiday planning meeting.
  2. Start the meeting by asking what others would like first. When others get to speak their mind before you then they’re more apt to listen to you when prompted.
  3. Be specific and take charge. Part of the headache of the holidays is the planning, so be prepared to take that burden. They will thank you for it and you’ll have a much better time because of it. Check out my Top 5 things to plan for the holidays list!
  4. State the real reason why you wanted to have this planning meeting. Whether it’s to keep Aunt Joe from wrestling Grandpa on the living room floor over a football game, or whether the kids get to open one present on Christmas Eve all together or not. There are many little traditions that are not valuable or helpful toward the overall experience and can be changed! Remember it’s never too late to do that.

Changing these less than ideal traditions to ones that transform an experience to one of memorable proportion’s is not as hard as you think.

Here some ideas to get you started…

Thanksgiving traditions-

  • Making crafts of pilgrims and Indians
  • Making “I am thankful lists” for dinner table talk
  • A game of family flag football
  • A decoration station, to make Thanksgiving decorations for the table or room where dinner will be held.
  • Check out all these other ideas on Pinterest

Christmas traditions –

  • Making Christmas crafts
  • Go caroling
  • Make Christmas cards
  • Play Christmas charades
  • More on Pinterest!

Another thing to think about during holiday planning is in the kid’s department. If you have children who don’t like holiday foods then you have to be prepared. Kids can make a party, or break a party! So make sure to bring their favorite snacks, then if they don’t like what’s on their plate, they aren’t starving and therefore making your holiday experience a lame one. I know from experience that when I cook for people and they either don’t like my food or can’t eat it because of an allergy I feel really bad. So remind your children to be thankful and to put your game face on and enjoy a meal that you may or may not have had to cook because somebody special prepared it with love.

Remember that the holidays are meant to bring family, friends and loved ones around each other to make memories that shape our families morals and build us into more caring and loving people. So go in with an attitude of gratitude and truly be thankful to be able to spend time with those that you love and love you in return.

Happy Holidays!

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