From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Preparing for the Holidays: A Recipe for Success

Preparing for the holidays involves more than shopping, cooking, and inviting the company. Holidays tend to be times of great expectations, and sometimes, big disappointments. It is not unusual for conflicts to arise between family members who have differing expectations for the holidays. When this occurs, times of celebration can turn into times of power struggles. This year as you prepare for the holidays, I recommend the following recipe for success.

Sharing ideas ahead of time can help ensure a smooth landing for those who will be traveling to see you. Both before and after your family meeting, it is a good idea to consult by telephone with those who may be coming in from out of town, so that they too will know what to expect.

While it is important to have a list of many options, it is also likely that some activities will not be possible. When this happens, it is important to be sensitive to any hurt feelings which may develop. Some great ideas may need to be postponed to another time!

No two years of celebrating the holidays are ever identical. Each year, the participants change. Some family members may be absent; new family members may join; children have grown; all will have aged. Holiday times combine the re-enacting of time-honored family traditions, and inventing new ways to celebrate. The key to making this holiday season a success is to honor each family member by allowing them to make a personal contribution to this year’s celebration!

ęCopyright, 1998, 1999, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated February 27, 1999 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.