Saturday, December 26, 2015

Note NOW How To Make The Holidays Better Next Year

Christmas is always a mixed bag. Despite what you see on Facebook, I doubt that Christmas (or Hanukkah, for that matter) is blissful for everyone, every year. 

So while the holidays are fresh in your memory, why not consider how to make them better for you and your family next year? Here's how I'm going to do it:

Despite our best intentions, the holidays are rarely perfect.

Think About What Worked And Do It Again Next Year

  • What presents were hits? Can you learn from those? For example, Snap Circuits (an electronics building kit) were not on my daughter's list, but she has been playing nonstop with it. Lesson for me: look for more educational activities that she'll love.

  • Which activities were enjoyed the most? 

  • Which foods did people absolutely LOVE?

  • Who did you invite that you really would love to invite again? Or are there people you didn't invite that you'd like to next year?

  • Did anyone really love something you did that you can do next year? For example, I used some of these ways to wrap gift cards and a few were a bit hit with the Teen.

Consider What Didn't Work And How You Can Change That

  • What was your biggest challenge on Christmas? How can you change that for next year? For example, I really resented being The Waitress the whole friggin' day without anyone asking me for help! Next year, my husband and I have agreed that we'll be going out for Christmas dinner. That will take the pressure off me, means the people who didn't like my menu can order for themselves and we'll all have a happier holiday.

  • If you have to invite someone you can't stand, how can you make the experience better? We've learned that it's easier to tolerate my mother-in-law when there are other, non-family members present; they seem to dilute the mix. So we invite friends we know tend to spend the holiday alone, to be with us. We get to spend time with them, they have fun with us, and the Voldemort is on “best” behavior in front of company.

  • Are there things you did that you shouldn't do next year? For example, we have WAAAY to many decorations out this year. The living room looks cluttered and they're a pain to dust. Next year we go minimal.

  • What traditions are ready to be retired? Remember that YOU make the rules for your family and you're not responsible for everyone having a good time. Change the mix up a bit if you want to and if people can't handle it, that's THEIR issue.

I'm taking notes and adding them to my Christmas card spreadsheet for next year. That way, when I take out my list, my ideas and reflections will be right there with plenty of time to take action. 

How did your Christmas go? 

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