Radiating Sunshine: Balancing the Holidays

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Balancing the Holidays

Happy December Everyone! I can't believe the holidays are fast approaching... and with that comes my desire to PLAN EVERYTHING. I have about two weeks until I get two and a half weeks off work and I am so PUMPED. However, although I love the holidays today I'm going to talk about something that can put a little joyous strain on the holiday season.
As you all have probably assumed the holidays are probably my favorite time of year. I love spending so much time with the people that I love and catching up with people who I don't see nearly enough. I am also a hard core traditionalist. I love our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party at my Aunt Paula's and I love our gag gift exchange at my Grandma's! It's no secret in my family that I hold the holiday season with high expectations and want to keep to our traditions at all costs. However, what happens when you have someone in your life who you want to share those traditions with?

Conflict. Now, I don't use the C-word lightly. I know a lot of you may fear that word. But, its apart of our lives and let's face it, it's apart of the holiday season as well. Conflict arises when someone burns the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes (Sorry, Mom I still haven't let that go) or when someone gives you a surprising gift and you have nothing ready in return. Conflict can arise when you're out shopping for that perfect sweater and they are completely out of your size. Conflict can come when you don't cut out enough wrapping paper. But, regardless of whether you're mad at your wrapping abilities or at a relative who continuously asks you what you are doing with your life... it's important for us all to embrace the holiday conflicts. However, :"one does not simply" embrace the holiday conflict. So, it's important to have a game plan on how you'll handle them when they do pop up. 

A common holiday conflict is learning how to balance the holidays with your special someone. After all, out of all of the fish in the sea you have chosen that person to spend your time with. How do you choose who's family to visit, at what time to visit them, and for how long you will stay? How do you manage every family's traditions without hurting anyone's feelings and still being together in the process? I got lucky in choosing a person who shares my love for the holidays and traditions! But, that definitely creates problems when we both want to be in two places at once. For example, I really want to experience Christmas Eve mass with him and his family and at the same time I so desperately want him to open a gag gift with my family. You see the predicament?

3 Tips to Having a Stress Free Holiday Season with 
Your Significant Other & Family

one... plan ahead! Sit down with your significant other two months before the holidays begin. Sitting down early can help you plan in the least unbiased way as possible. Discuss all of the different options and split every event as evenly as possible.

two... go with the flow! Sometimes you can't always be together and that's okay. Sometimes the holiday conversation goes down a dangerous path to "the future" so make sure you're aware of what you are saying and reflect on how what you say can impact others.

three... pack your beauty essentials! I can't tell you how many times this has saved me! I'm a huge napper in the car, but nothing ruins your hair like a static-y pillow. Always carry a few extra bobby pins and some gel. It will help you in the long run when you are driving to two or three different Christmas dinners!

This year, we have both decided to spend the holidays apart, which without a doubt is not my favorite solution. But, it was important for us to recognize how important these traditions are for us and to recognize that one day we will have our own. So, for now we have to do what is best for our families, which is the true meaning of Christmas. It's important to remember that everyone wants to see everyone during the holidays and balancing that is probably the trickiest, but also the best thing you can do!

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