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Lifestyles over 50

Tips To Survive the Holidays

Oct 10, 2023 03:57PM ● By Judi and Dave Painter
The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Are you excited? Are you anxious? Are you "I don't know what I am"?

Holidays have always been the most stressful (good and bad) time of the year for us. As we move into this season, below is a thought-provoking questionnaire to help you cope and maybe smile your way into the holidays. There are no right or wrong answers. Journaling or hugging a tree works if you find yourself beginning to pace when you read this.

Do you:
  • strive to achieve that perfect Norman Rockwell holiday?
  • curl up with a friend and watch a movie or read a book?
  • do the best you can to have a warm and welcoming house (or be that warm and welcoming guest)?
  • help at a food pantry or soup kitchen?
If you are having the big family party, should you:
  • do everything yourself—all the shopping, cooking, and baking—along with the set-up and clean-up?
  • delegate chores and duties to relatives and other guests (like asking everyone to bring their specialty)?
  • think about having the meal catered? Or go out to a restaurant?
  • simplify the meal and the celebration?
If you have a blended family, it is easy to try to please everyone, to allow yourself (or your kids) to be pulled in many different directions. Think about:
  • having your major celebration on a different day (Who says your Thanksgiving dinner must be on Thanksgiving Day?)
  • not trying to one-up your ex. This is not a competition—tone it down; disengage.
  • working on embracing the true meaning of the holidays.
  • having your children help with the preparation of the meal; teaching them how to prep and cook a meal is a priceless gift.
Coping with family is a huge trigger for many people. Plan how you are going to deal with these stressful situations.

Uncle Bob is a loudmouth political geek who constantly gives his opinion (and puts a political spin on everything). Do you:
  • engage and try to convince him he is wrong?
  • ignore him (If possible)?
  • nod vigorously but not engage?
  • go hug a tree (not one with pine needles and ornaments!)?
Uncle John drinks too much and passes out at every party. Do you:
  • ignore him but make sure he has a ride home?
  • ignore him but convince yourself that he is not your responsibility?
  • engage him so he does not drink so much?
  • remind him about how much he drinks and how many times he has passed out at holiday gatherings?
These are just a few of the situations we have experienced. Our best advice is to have a plan A, B, C, etc., breathe, or skip it all and go away somewhere special!
Have a great holiday season! Judi and Dave Painter
"Grief and the Holidays" Free Workshop

Join Stephens Funeral Home for the free "Grief and the Holidays" workshop, led by the Wisdom Coalition's Kim Howie and Nancy Werteen of WFMZ. Heading into the holidays with an empty seat at the table can be difficult. Learn how to accept what is, let go of what was, and embrace what can be. Thursday, December 7, 6:30 p.m. RSVP by December 2, 610.434.6304. Stephens Funeral Home, 274 N. Krocks Rd., Allentown, PA. |

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