November rolls around and the to-do lists for the holidays start to get longer and longer. It’s not just the holiday stuff, it’s the visits. That endless cycle of running between houses, seeing all the people and making endless trips.
Every single year, we make the trek to be with family and friends back home. Only to spend the entire trip running back and forth between everyone’s homes.
Frankly, it’s exhausting and kind of disheartening to always be the one doing the heavy lifting during visits.
Stop Running Around for the Holidays
This year, make a resolution to say “no” to the parade of visits, flights and car rides. Say “no” to attempting to see everyone and please everyone over the holidays.
Make Some Decisions
As a family, decide how you want your holiday season to look this year.
- Where will you go?
- Where will you stay?
- How will you get there (or not)?
- What will you do?
- Who will you see?
Once you have your vision, make your travel plans from there. Keep sanity in mind as you make your itinerary.
Let Them Come to You
If you are going home, set some clear boundaries. There is no reason for you to be running yourselves ragged traveling all over creation to see people.
One of the most powerful things you can do is share your plan:
“We’ll be at (location) from (dates). If you’d like to see us, please let us know and we’ll share our specific plans.”
This puts the onus on your extended family and friends to come to you. After all, they live in the area you’re visiting and haven’t traveled from far away.
You have. Let them come to you.
Or you could simply say:
“We’ll be making reservations at (restaurant) on (date). Should we add your family to the reservation?”
Again, this puts the responsibility on others to join you. And it limits your travel – a win no matter how you spin it!
Simply Stay Put
Staying home is underrated. Traveling on or around the holidays is awful whether you’re driving or flying.
So don’t travel. Stay at home instead!
If you’re feeling welcoming, you could invite folks down to see you. Just be clear about whether you’ll be hosting them in your home or if they’ll need to make reservations elsewhere.
You’ll feel so much more relaxed! It’s fun to create your own traditions as just a small family unit. Or build your community by sharing events with local friends or your unit.
Take a Vacation
Another option is to seriously escape it all: go on a legit vacation. Book your family on a trip to somewhere fun – all together!
Again, you could invite your extended family or friends along on your adventure. Or go it solo with just immediate family.
Either way, you’ll escape the forced marches between different sides of the family. And that’s a victory.
Celebrate at Another Time
Skip the inflated ticket prices and crowded highways, celebrate Christmas during March or Thanksgiving in October. Find a time that works for everyone and commit!
This way you’ll get to have your cake and eat it, too. On the actual holiday, you can create traditions with your own family with some sanity to boot. At another time, you can host a big celebration with your extended family and friends.
Keep Your Sanity Front & Center
If it’s not making you happy, say no. No excuses needed.
Driving around, flying hither and yon – it’s just not relaxing or celebratory. It’s not what the holidays are supposed to be about.
Instead, this year, put yourself and your family first. Take a break. Do your own thing. Set boundaries and don’t force yourself to do ALL the traveling all the time.
It’s okay to say no. It’s fine to pass up on opportunities. And it’s good to ask those you love to make the journey to see you for a change.
No matter what you decide to do this holiday season, make sure your own sanity is coming first.