This time of year can be one of the most difficult times of year. I’m not sure if it’s the holidays coming up. Or if it’s the fact that so many holidays come one right after the other. From Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, to New Years; I find that we come most in contact with the most varied of relationships, but it can also be the most stressful time of year. I can’t speak for anyone else’s family, but from experience it feels more like the Daytona 500 for making the best impression. What I mean by that is I come in contact with family that I don’t see or hear from all year and find myself having to put on a ‘perfect’ front just to fit in with the rest of the crowd.
If you’re married it may seem like we’re trying to keep up by wearing nice clothes. Or if you’re in a family like my own, it becomes the holiday of bragging. There’s always that one aunt that believes that she has it all when in reality there isn’t much there to brag about. Being single and getting through the holidays can also be difficult. I never realized that I needed a date to celebrate the holidays. Other stressors that can strain and try relationships are the family arguments that remain a part of the holiday season. No matter what you believe or what holidays you celebrate the stress is often times present. For those who are dating or in a new relationship, the holidays can also wreak havoc on your relationship. I found some great thoughts to help with the holidays.
Whether you’ve been together two years or two months, let’s face it, we can all get tired of sitting at the children’s table year after year. The pressure of being introduced to that person’s family can put a great deal of stress on any relationship. I like to ask myself “if it weren’t for the holidays would I be introducing this person to my family?” If the answer is no, then hold off. If you and that person in your life have different ideas about the holidays, compromise may need to happen. You may love watching ice skating hand and hand over a cup of hot cocoa, but the person in your life may not. Being open about it helps. Remember, we can’t read each other’s minds. Other thoughts such as expecting to get engaged think about if you want that first invite or proposal in front of family and friends. Sending joint holiday cards which signify we’re together forever and juggling family visits can also become stressful. Try not to squeeze in too many family visits into one day. Often each other’s families may feel short-changed.
Whatever difficulties that you may have during the holidays, relationships, even those that may not make it much longer will tend to stay together through the holidays. No matter what your relationship status may be, what’s meant to be will be and it doesn’t mean that we have to take the jingle out of our holidays to have a season without stress. It’s a matter of being comfortable with you, taking a deep breath, and remembering that not every family or relationship is a Jimmy Stewart movie. Life isn’t a staged performance, but instead like a holiday tale.