A Holiday Guest blog from my lovely wife, Nancy. (and yes, it’s #6…as there was an intro blog)
The Not So Big Christmas – Day 5
Radical Holiday Reboot – “We’re going to Disney World!”
No, I’m not really advising going to Disney World for Christmas, unless it’s something you can afford and would love to do. What I’m proposing is,
What if you skipped town and opted out of all holiday obligations this year?
Is this a radical idea? If your Christmases past have been seeped in family tradition and lists of endless expectations, you bet it is! It may also be an opportunity to provide a wonderful ‘reboot’ to the way you view the holidays.
Several years ago, I became friends with a local business owner. One December, she shared with me that the holiday in-fighting within her extended family had gotten so out of hand that she and her husband couldn’t take it anymore. They decided to ‘escape’ with their kids right after school ended in December. They hurriedly informed the extended family of their plans, hopped on a plane on December 22, and for the next ten days they spent the holidays somewhere remote, tropical and beautiful. Just the four of them.
They avoided it all: The shopping, the crowds, the tense family gatherings, obligatory parties, endless baking and food prep, cranky over-indulged, over-stimulated children…
All the money they would have spent on Christmas was spent instead on the trip of a lifetime.
In addition to that fabulous get away, they were able to reset expectations for future holiday seasons. Instead of feeling obliged to follow traditions that had become stale and obligatory, my friend and her husband felt freer to decide when, where and with whom they chose to spend the holidays.
There is such freedom in that wonderful example!
If you can’t afford a tropical getaway, you can still use the ‘radical reboot’ technique. Use the money you would normally spend on the holidays and escape to a wilderness cabin, a local resort, or anyplace that will allow you to step off the holiday treadmill just for this year.
You may gain a whole new perspective on the ‘obligatory’ nature of the holiday season.
Note: If the idea of going away for the holiday season seems way too radical to you, stick around. Next week we’ll be looking at some tamer methods of setting limits and boundaries to create a holiday that feels more authentic to you.