What can you do now that you’re an adult to enjoy your holidays? Remember when as children how we all looked forward to enjoying the upcoming holidays? First there was Halloween with all spooky decorations, planning what we wanted to dress up as, and the anticipation of oodles of candy made it a great October holiday.
Then came Thanksgiving. We looked forward to the wonderful Thanksgiving feast and the influx of family members. In my family there was an adult table and a children’s table. The older children looked forward to graduating to the adult table.
My family celebrated Christmas. It was the holiday we looked forward to enjoying as a family. There were always special activities to enjoy. Lights and decorations at home and around town. And then, of course, the anticipation of the gifts under the tree and in our stockings.
Plan to enjoy your holidays
Now we are adults. We realize that all that holiday enjoyment and magic takes some doing. It doesn’t happen by itself.
Now is the time to decide what we want to do to make our holiday season meaningful and enjoyable.
Decide which holidays you and your family want to celebrate. Have a family meeting and have each person share what is important to them for each holiday.
What is important to you and your family
Decorating, going to special events and special church activities, baking special foods, watching old favorite holiday shows, seeing family, and gift exchanges are all ways to enjoy the holidays. Any activity, event, or holiday that is important to you or another family needs to be discussed without judgement.
It can also be enlightening to talk about what each person does not want to do this holiday season.
Schedule in advance
Get out the calendar and begin scheduling way in advance the ideas that can be agreed on. If the calendar looks too full, discuss what items might be dropped this year. Stress the importance of having some down time to just enjoy your time at home.
Also discuss who is responsible for tasks that are required to make the events and activities happen. The idea is to enjoy each event and activity. When the responsibilities are shared, no one person becomes overwhelmed or has too much pressure.
Decorating and undecorating can be a family affair. Baking can involve more than one person. Going out to the Botanical Gardens or elsewhere to see a light display can be a family affair.
Use a family calendar
Post everything on the family calendar so there are no surprises. Everyone needs to know when they are expected to be available to participate in a task or an event. The older teens will know that at certain times they will not be able to hang out with their friends. Adults in the house will know that at certain times they will not be sitting in front of the TV.
If you are traveling during the holiday, plans need to be made way in advance. The sooner you make your plans the less expensive the tickets are, and the more choices and flexibility you have. If extended family is planning to come and visit you, those dates need to be on your calendar so that you as the host family can plan meals and activities.
Holiday enjoyment for small families
If you are a family of one or two, decide what you want to do to enjoy your holiday for maximum pleasure and minimum stress. Do just as much decorating as you enjoy. Plan activities that fill you with joy. Things don’t have to be done the way they always were done before.
Now for Halloween I just put out a few decorations but on Trick-or-Treat evening, I have a fire in a portable fire pit, a table with candy laid out, and a couple of chairs for my husband and me. We enjoy seeing our neighborhood children and some accompanying adults in their costumes. It’s enjoyable to sit and chat with those that drop by. The next day all I have out is easy to put away.
This Thanksgiving I will host my husband’s family. Instead of a formal meal like I have done in the past, I will set out a buffet with some favorite Thanksgiving dishes and let people mingle and visit. This will give my husband and I as well as our guests enjoyment without stress.
Christmas will be very quiet and low key, but I will do a lot of decorating because seeing those decorations throughout December gives me joy. My son, who lives nearby, will help me with some of the decorating and the taking down of some of the decorations. During the holiday we will have some FaceTime with family members and hopefully we will be able to go to the church service in person instead of Zoom.
So, start now and plan what will give you and your family the most enjoyment during the holidays. Maybe you will start some new traditions.
If you want help or just some accountability in working or developing an organizational plan or project, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.