- Decide what is special to your family. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments that don’t align with what matters to your family.
- Have a conversation. Ask each family member what a big win would be this season.
- Extend grace. This season can be hard for some, so keep this in mind and be very gracious.
While there is a certain magic surrounding the holiday season, there’s also another feeling most of us experience during this time — anxiety. This time of year, our schedules are in overdrive, guests keep our beds filled, and we often feel uncomfortably stretched.
As parents, we put a lot of expectations into the holidays. Commercials tell us it’s our job to create perfect, special moments for our families. Truth be told, perfection doesn’t exist and it never has. Instead, we end the holidays feeling defeated and repeat the same cycle year after year.
It’s OK to say no
To break the pattern, we must do something different. Brad Griffin shares how he, too, gets anxious during the holidays because of travel and other commitments. To keep his family connected and the chaos at bay, he says it’s important and OK to say no sometimes. No to travel. No to holiday parties. No to everything that doesn’t align with your family’s goals.
What happens when you say no? You have room for more yeses. With more room, you can focus on what’s most important.
Traditions and the bigger story
What’s really important, Brad shares, is creating traditions for our kids. Traditions, or practices, are more than sentimental feelings.
“There’s a lot of meaning around practices that tell us we belong to this family, to these people,” Brad says.
Even more special to kids, Brad shares, is when dads take part in the planning of the traditions (and not letting the responsibility rest solely on mom).
“The reality is we need those moments, too. It helps us feel like our kids belong to us.”
Another way to celebrate the season the right way is to show your kids the bigger story. You can do this by showing them that this isn’t a time to be inward and to ourselves, but that we’re open to inviting others in and truly being a family of God.
VOICES IN THIS EPISODE
Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange, Director of The Phase Project, and co-author of Playing For Keeps and It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives with her husband, Matt, and their three children, Sawyer, Hensley, and Raleigh, in Cumming, GA.
Carlos is an author, speaker, and content creator living in Nashville, TN with his wife Heather and 3 kids Sohaila, Seanna, and Losiah. He is addicted to social media, his wife’s enchiladas, and is determined to have his daughters teach him to land a backflip on the trampoline by the time he is 45.
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