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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Happenings

I do love the holiday season, but can relate to those who feel overwhelmed, annoyed or sad by the extra activity, pressures and stresses.  The division of family and children and who gets whom and when do complicate things.  Add in a new partner, extended family and long distance relatives and there is just a lot of to sort out ... but it is so worth it!  If you haven't already, make a plan now to avoid conflict and unmet expectations.  Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Plan a budget and stick to it - if you haven't already prepared, then work to cut costs in other categories.  Decide who will be getting gifts this year and be thoughtful not extravagant.
  • Make the most of your time with your children - prioritize the memories you want to make.  There aren't enough evenings, weekends and days off to do it all.
  • Communicate with family - are you willing to travel or do you need them to come to you this year?  What days work for everyone to be together?
  • Remember to honor the structure of your parenting plan - none of us like to be separated from our children during meaningful times, but there is more to this season that one day.  Support your children by encouraging them to be generous to the other parent, accepting of those bonds and celebrate upon their return.
This is the year where I will not wake up with my children on Christmas morning.  If you find yourself in this position, I cannot stress enough the importance of a plan!  Two years ago I enjoyed a special lunch with my parents and even got to see Santa.  In truth, it was a terribly hard day, but could have been worse had I been alone and sitting home waiting for the children to return.  Now I have Mr. Wonderful and we will be together.  Nothing can replace the squeals of Christmas morning stocking discoveries, but I'll make the best of this very special day. 

We may not have a chimney or mantle anymore, but I still have a plan for those stockings!  Are your holiday plans taking shape?  What will be the most challenging part of this season for you?