The holiday season can bring a lot of stress (not such a jolly feeling!) This holiday season can be different if you have a plan. Here are three ways to have YOUR best holiday.


1. Decide how you want to feel during the holidays.

Peaceful? Excited? Exhausted? Stressed? (Just checking to see if you’re paying attention ;)) This is important because our kids pick up on whatever we’re feeling and even more important because if we don’t know what we want – we won’t know how to get it!

Jot down a few of your desired feelings.


2. Consider what’s important about the holiday you celebrate.

Sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down because everything seems important. Think about what the holiday means to you and what you want your kids to know and remember about this time of year. There are no right or wrong answers!

Note down a few thoughts.


3. Decide how much your family can commit to.

Trying to do everything will wear you out and lead to more challenging behavior from your kids. Think about current work schedules, sports, etc. and decide how much more is realistic and feels manageable? Maybe you can only add one extra holiday event per weekend or week, or maybe nothing after 7 pm – whatever seems right for your family.

Write down any time boundaries you want to adhere to.


Once you’ve answered these, you have the foundation for the rest of your choices this holiday season. There’s something comforting about having a plan and when we’re doing things that support our values we feel good!

So much better than when we’re really busy, don’t know what we want and we get swept up in everyone else’s expectations and ideas. Living according to what others value leaves us stressed, resentful and basically unhappy. Bah-humbug.


But … doing things differently than in the past can be a bit scary, I get it.


– Feel like if you’re less busy your family will be missing out?

What if by slowing down you were actually allowing your family to fully experience whatever was happening at the moment?


– Not sure how changing things will go over with everyone else?

Let them know you’re trying a new way this year. Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone – maybe you add things back in next year or do some things every other year.


– Don’t want to disappoint others by turning down invitations?

Come up with a response that feels right to you ahead of time so you don’t agree to something just because you didn’t know how to say no. “We really appreciate you including us! This year we’re (slowing down, adding some new traditions, etc.) so we won’t be able to make it.”


Of course, if you like how you’ve been doing things – keep doing them!!!