While the holiday season can be a festive and magical time of year, it can also come with many stressors. Shopping for gifts, hosting, cooking, and yes, seeing all of your family and friends around the clock. But how do you split your time during the holidays so you can see everyone, and do everything? Here are some things that will hopefully make the answer to this question a little simpler.
The Answer? There is no Right or Wrong Answer
Before I get to the goods, know that there is no right or wrong way to handle friends and family during this time of year. If you want to see everyone, great! If you want to limit your time with others, that’s fine too! It’s a very personal thing, and it can vary so much between individuals and couples. That being said, always respect your partner’s decisions, and your friends’ and family’s. You can do what is best for your, just as much as they can! 🙂
Discuss Your Expectations with Your Partner
First things first! Set expectations! This is something that Brian and I have learned from using The Marriage Journal. And boy, does it save a lot of headache, confusion, and if we’re being honest, fights! You can really use this technic for anything (going to a party, out on a date night, planning a trip), but it is very helpful for the holiday season.
And, it’s actually VERY simple. Before you go somewhere for the holidays, or better yet, when you start making your holiday plans, ask your partner, “what are your expectations?”
This way, everything is out in the open and you’re not assuming what your partner wants or needs. Maybe it’s very important to them that they see a certain relative, or they want to leave a gathering at a certain time. It might make you feel silly at first to list out, possibly obvious, expectations. But, at the very least, if your expectations are similar, you know you are both on the same page.
Know That You’re on the Same Team
My mom always says this to me, but take time to remember that you and your partner are a team! You can tackle anything that comes your way, and you can divide and conquer if needed. If you need to split up and go decorate cookies, while the other goes out with friends, then that’s what you should do! Don’t worry about what others think, or be afraid that you’ll offend someone by going to another gathering. People get it! You’re in high demand! (Another thing my mom always tells me, haha.) You both can see friends and family throughout the holiday season to make up for any lost time.
How We Divide Holidays
To be honest, we don’t have this down to a science. We have a unique family dynamic (both sets of our parents are remarried, so we have lots of family to visit, and love to spread), so it’s no so cut and dry every year. (And that’s ok!) But, our one rule is that we try to see everyone for Christmas. Most other holidays, like Easter, Thanksgiving, etc. we swap off each year, or if there is something important going on with one of our families we see them that year. It can be tough, but we love our family and we will always see them throughout the year and for important occasions. So the holidays are just “extra.”
I’d love to know how you split time around the holidays? Are there any tips you and your partner have learned over the years?