Parent Magazine Flagler December 2019 - Page 10

No More Have-To Holidays! How To Keep Your Family Happy This Holiday Season By Christina Katz C rowds, traffic, in-laws, extra bills to pay — no wonder the holidays stress so many people out. If you are one of these people, you are not alone. According to some reports, up to 90% of all adults become stressed about at least one aspect of the holidays. And the holidays are especially stressful for women, who shoulder the brunt of the scheduling, planning, shopping, and cooking each year. This year can be different. If you are prepared to take your mood from stressed to holly-jolly. When you are ready, call on this list of radical advice for grinning all the way through your holidays, rather than grinning and bearing it from mid-November through early January. 1. Take charge. Declare yourself your life’s official cruise director. If you are waiting for others to make you happy — and feeling disappointed or resentful because 8 | F L A G L E R parent M A G A Z I N E they don’t try hard enough or try but miss the mark — stop. Make a bucket list for your life of everything you have always wanted to do and start checking off peak moments as soon as possible. Then, when you are done, put the whole family through the bucket-list making process. Two books by author Lara Krupicka, Bucket List Living For Moms and Family Bucket Lists, make bucket list creation process a lively adventure the whole clan can enjoy on a chilly afternoon or evening. 2. Determine your holiday preferences. If you feel like every holiday is already planned out for you by your extended circle of family and friends, you may have never actually considered what you prefer. Choosing not to choose is actually still a choice — but not a very good one. Ask yourself the question, How do I really want to spend my holidays? And then answer it honestly. And be specific, not just vague or reacting against what you don’t want.