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Holiday Survival Guide Part Two

Have you implemented the tips from the first part of my Holiday Survival Guide? If so, here are a few more ideas to help you survive the holiday season. Be sure to share these with your friends and family.

 

Hire some help. (Or at least set up a buddy system with someone who can minimize your to-do list).

 

Here’s how.

a. Identify something you don’t like to do but think is important.

b. Then, find someone who likes doing that task and hire them or invite them to help you. 

 

Here are two examples of tasks I don’t love doing. (No judgement please!)

Decorating the tree. Around Thanksgiving, when my grandkids are over, we pull out the tree and the trimmings and make it a party of sorts. It’s so much more fun. Now granted, I have to be a bit less particular on how the tree is decorated, but it is worth it and always creates memories I wouldn’t trade for a Martha Stewart Christmas tree.


Wrapping presents. I used to pay my daughter (even though she was happy to do it for free) because she really loves to wrap presents. Another way to get the chore done is to hire a teenager or single person who wants to earn some extra money. High school students are a great resource. You can reach out to the youth pastor at your local church and ask if he or she knows of students in search of some extra income for the holidays.

 

Keep conversations positive.

A. Plan to ask questions. This is a great way to steer topics into neutral territory. “What is your favorite holiday memory?” “What was it like growing up in (fill in the location or era)” “What has been most fun at school this past month?” Or come up with a list of conversation starters such as recent community events, books people have read, or movies they have seen. You can take this one step farther by writing questions on slips of paper and putting them in a jar and having each person select one to read and answer.


B. If the interaction gets a bit dicey in your house, establish some “no-topic” rules. If, for example, your family is divided on politics, and the topic comes up, announce that “politics is a ‘off-limits’ topics for the day.” Your house – Your rules!

 

C. Don’t get pulled into battles or discussions that you know won’t be positive. Don’t gossip or criticize. Practice being gracious, smiling, and stopping conversations that won’t create positive memories.

 

Find opportunities to connect with people.

If the holiday season leaves you feeling lonely, look for ways to connect with others. Deliver cards or inexpensive treats to your neighbors. Attend local holiday concerts or Christmas pageants at the local school. Invite a couple of people who might also be alone during the holidays for tea or coffee. Plan a small potluck dinner, or a cookie baking event. You can also contact your church or local chamber to see if there are opportunities to volunteer. Maybe you can simply send Christmas cards with handwritten notes to people far away or send care packages to those serving in the military. Take initiative and reach out to others. Plan activities you know you’ll enjoy and will brighten your days.


Do something fun.

Watch your favorite Christmas movie (or movies) - especially the ones that make you laugh. Read a great book or sort through old photos that have good memories of Christmas. If you have snow, go build a snowman. Take a drive and look at the Christmas lights.

 

Take pride in all you’ve accomplished.

Don’t look at the unmet goals but look at all you have done, and the wonderful memories created. If you complete 80% of everything you have hoped to accomplish, celebrate the 80%. You have done a great job!

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Kerry Fulton
Kerry Fulton
Dec 11, 2023

I like your tips. They're all great. Thanks for sending them.

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