Parent Magazine Flagler December 2019 - Page 11

For example, if you’d rather wake up in a ski lodge on Christmas morning and have someone else serve breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can hit the slopes with the fam’, so be it! Contemplate what you want – what you really want – so you can share your needs honestly with others. 3. Share your vision with your immediate family. If your family loves you, and I assume they do, then your vision for the holidays matters to them. Even if they don’t share your enthusiasm for Black Friday shopping, Christmas caroling, and marathon tree decorating, everyone should be able to accommodate everyone else in the family. Who knows? Maybe by the time you are done regaling the neighborhood with “Oh, Holy Night” and “Rudolph The Red- nosed Reindeer,” everyone will be shivering and laughing in that ineffable way that makes life-long memories. 4. Give each immediate family member a chance to chime in. Okay, so you have gotten clear on the ways you enjoy spending the holidays. Now it’s time to encourage the rest of your family to share what they want. Come on now, they tolerated your eccentricities and now it’s your turn to back them up. And yes, you have to attend the sporting event you could probably live without with your son and take your daughter to see The Nutcracker for the umpteenth time. You will also go to the office party with your husband. If these are the things that make the holidays magic for them, who are you to disagree? of taking charge, having personal preferences, and sharing and receiving ideas within the family is that you can now communicate what you all need to your extended family members. Yes, your family is allowed to carve out your traditions and create your own memories. And now that you know what they are, it’s your responsibility to follow through as best you can. 6. Communicate without guilt. Give the extended family plenty of time to accept your plans. They don’t have to like them. In fact, you might think they will never speak to you again. But part of being an adult is learning to let other people face with their feelings without continually adjusting your needs to fit theirs. Guilt may have been the type of internalized shame that kept you in line in the past, but it’s time to shake off this type of programming and live the life that really makes you happy. 7. Be the change you want to see in your world. Perhaps you have heard the quote, attributed to Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” But what he may have really said is, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” In other words, our personal happiness does matter and the way we live does impact the world. So in claiming our joy, we make the world a more positive place, as well. Activate The Power Of Personal Choice Be creative in your decision-making process. Remember, there is no such thing as one right choice for everyone. Choose whatever makes sense for your family. • You could go to a soup kitchen or you could take this year off and make soup at home. • You could fly across the country to see your great aunt and grandmother or you could go next year. • You could go to every holiday party you are invited to or you could confer with the family about each choice first. • You could feel guilty about not visiting your in-laws or you could send a beautiful card and thoughtful gift instead. • You could attend midnight mass or you could create your own spiritual celebrations at home. • You could invite friends and family over for holiday meals or you could just have one potluck for the whole season. • What you choose to do this year does not have to be the new tradition. Try things and see what sticks. 5. Create your perfect holiday. If you can’t remember the last time you just stayed home for Christmas and unwrapped gifts from under your own tree, then maybe it’s time to simplify your Christmas without feeling like you have to apologize to the entire world. The beauty F L A G L E R parent M A G A Z I N E | 9