BALANCING FAMILY HOLIDAY
You're already overburdened, but you know how important the holidays are to your family. You feel you will never be able to duplicate what your parents did for you, especially if your mom was a full-time homemaker. Here are some shortcuts to help you balance a busy career, family, and a wonderful and realistic holiday:
Set Reasonable Expectations - Search your memories for the elements of celebration that meant most to you. Consider what you'd like to add and what you'd like to eliminate. Be reasonable about what you can do, and think about how you can delegate small responsibilities to others. You may wish to use a calendar to plan your tasks. That will prevent the tasks from becoming overwhelming.
Gifts and Clothes for the Family - Making lists and checking them twice is good advice. Be sure to check children's clothing sizes beforehand so you don't discover as your children dress for the holidays that clothes are too small. Stack your merchandise catalogs as they come in. You can save time by shopping from catalogs and the Internet. Children can also learn a lot from catalog shopping. Teach them to write down order numbers, prices, etc. Catalog and Internet shopping are good for their decision making, problem solving, and mathematics. You'll probably still want to do some real shopping if only for nostalgia and atmosphere, but at least you can reduce it to a manageable amount.
Traditions - If you have guests of mixed religions, plan to incorporate some additional traditional segments within your celebration. It's fun for children to explain their traditions to others, and everyone learns to appreciate individual differences. Your children, and other guests as well, can even prepare small presentations. Kids love to put on per-formances and learn from them. Develop your own personal family traditions.
School Celebrations - You may simply not be able to get to all of them. Mark them on the calendar as notices come in. Have a family meeting to determine which have priority. You may have to divide the family, and a grandparent may even be able to be a surrogate for you. Consider videotaping performances to share later at home. The videos can become part of a permanent collection as well.
©2001 by Sylvia B. Rimm. All rights reserved. This publication, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author.