For the most part, the holiday season is filled with fun and festive gatherings where you get to reconnect with family and friends. It’s a time of year many of us look forward to anxiously with hopes that we will make new memories.
However, this can also be a stressful time of year as social gatherings can bring together a mix of personalities and generations. If you want to set yourself up for the best chance of enjoying a fun and joyful holiday season, start with these six tips.
- Set your expectations
Foremost, you want to be sure you have the right expectations for your various holiday gatherings. There will be some occasions that are lively and fast-paced. Other holiday events may cater to a more low-key audience. Think about the different members of your family and whether or not that is an ideal social gathering for them. Different ages and personalities will impact the types of holiday gatherings that are best suited for each person
- Have planned activities
To prevent family holiday parties from getting stagnant or boring, it’s a smart idea to plan a few activities in advance. Particularly, you want to select activities which will be fun for different generations. When your holiday gathering is structured by a few activities, you’ll be able to keep guests entertained while creating fun and lasting memories.
- Switch things up
When it comes to holiday parties, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. However, if you have found that people are growing a little tired of the same gathering at the same location year after year, it may be time to switch things up. Also, your family’s needs may have changed, meaning you require more space or a location that is conducive to wheelchairs, etc. Consider hosting the event at someone else’s house or a different venue altogether. You can also expand your guest list and encourage people to invite a new friend or two to join the fun.
- Schedule downtime
This holiday season, it may feel like you’re jumping from one celebration to the next, but be sure to schedule downtime in between your family gatherings. Especially for your aging loved ones, it’s so important to not overload them with too many events. Though it might be manageable for you, remember that they may have a lower tolerance for travel and social engagements, making it important to prioritize downtime.
- Choose the gatherings that are most meaningful/enjoyable
For the holiday gatherings you do to choose attend as a whole family, focus on the ones that are most meaningful and enjoyable. These might include events with out-of-town relatives you haven’t seen in a while. Or you might simply choose the events that you most look forward to attending or that are most convenient for your family. No matter your reasoning, it’s perfectly fine to limit your holiday obligations.
- Know when to say no
And finally, you must learn to say no. This is a hard one for most of us, particularly because it’s easy to see every holiday gathering as a special opportunity to spend with family and friends, old and new. However, you will exhaust yourself trying to do it all and this will lead to a negative impact on your holiday experience. Simply put, you must know when to say no – and be okay with it!
With the holidays right around the corner, we hope that this advice will help you make the time spent with family more fun and joyful!