I love turkey dinner with all the fixings, tinsel, Home Alone, fake snow and holiday music as much as the next person, but unfortunately life doesn’t always imitate art. For many people, especially families with school aged or younger children, the holidays can resemble more National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation than It’s a Wonderful Life. This holiday season, let’s change that! Let’s not only survive the 2016 holidays, but enjoy them.

Here are 6 ways to enjoy the holidays more:

Set realistic goals.

Visiting 5 houses on Thanksgiving is not realistic. Have you always hoped to run in the annual turkey trot or build a gingerbread house, but continuously had too much else to do? This year let’s make it happen, by prioritizing. Holidays can be spread out! The fact is, not all family and friends have to be visited on the same day. Think of the holiday season of celebrating beginning at the end of November and lasting through at least the middle of January. Extending the holidays allows one to fit in, in a timely manner, all the events and activities YOU want to.

Say no.

Practice with me “no”. That’s right, you can tell family and friends no. Somehow it has been ingrained in many of us that if we are invited to something we must attend and this is actually not the case. In fact, for those of you suffering with FOMO (fear of missing out) people will still invite you to places/events even if you say no. This year put you and your household’s needs and desires first, within reason.

Focus on the true meaning of the holidays.

The media has inundated us with how our homes and lives should look and feel rather than the true spirit of the holidays, which causes more stress financially and timewise. Remember the holidays are about being together and for some focusing on the cultural and religious aspects. Gifts and stress will come and go, but what is truly recalled is the time spent with people you love and care about.

Talk to a friend.

As a parent, it can seem like you are on an island of chaos all on your own. The fact is many others are going through similar issues, especially during the holiday shuffle. Connecting with someone else not only normalizes what you are dealing with, but aids in feeling more connected during the holidays. 


Now that your goals are set, schedule the celebratory holiday season with realistic time allotments. Starting off with a list of necessary events/activities you need/want to schedule can be very helpful in not forgetting anything. For those with school aged children make sure you are including them in the planning.


Have fun. Be in the moment. Practice deep breathing, journal your stress or frustration, go for a walk and focus on the good things in your life, or schedule worrying for a later time, for example 2017.



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