Over the summer I moved from one community to another and in this new community, there is a lot more pressure to “do as my neighbors do” and “go big” for the holidays. It is funny that I can already tell this is the case, but it is true. I have been told, “If you don’t buy Halloween candy early, it will literally be ALL GONE” or, “You MUST register for holiday activities for the children WAY in advance”. I almost feel like someone is going to say, “DON’T even THINK about seeing Santa- ever!” LOL.
With this move, I am feeling pressured to perform and to keep up. I can literally feel the weight of this pressure on me. Have you ever felt that way? For me it is a weight on my right shoulder, as if I have a parrot resting there. J J I want it to go away and keep willing it to do so, but that doesn’t usually work so well…
What I do know is that the only way that the “parrot” will leave is if I work through the process below. Hopefully, it will help you too:
- Ask yourself this one question: What DO I want the holidays to look/feel like?
This is about getting clear on YOUR values, not someone else’s. It is about what YOU (and your partner if you have one) want for YOUR family. Honestly, do you know anyone who enjoys running around crazy looking for the perfect this and perfect that? (ok, maybe there ARE some people..) but most are probably living up to what they think they are “supposed” to do or have been pressured into doing. When a family gets clear on THEIR values, the decisions to DO or NOT Do come much more easily.
If you need a sample family values exercise you can find one here.
- Once you get clear on your family values, let your children know WHY you are making the choices you are.
- Not buying them tons of expensive presents?
- Not going into debt over the holidays?
- Not seeing Grandma?
- Not slaving over the kitchen 24/7?
All can possibly be challenges to discuss and share once you get clear… And too bad if they’re different from other people’s values. This is YOUR family. J
- Have fun, and ENJOY yourself. If this means you buy the Thanksgiving dinner from the grocery store instead of cooking, then make it happen. At the end of the day no one will remember the turkey, but they will remember you laughing with the kids, playing games and BEING with your values driven family.
So don’t believe the hype. Create your OWN hype, just for YOUR family and have a great holiday season!
If you need more support or analysis on family values and their application in your family, reach out! firstname.lastname@example.org