It's that time already. Time to start thinking about cooking, cleaning, buying and wrapping gifts, and how to make this holiday season memorable for our families. If you are anything like me you have what I call a "Walton mentality" when it comes to holidays. I am very invested in family and tend to fantasize about how wonderful the holidays will be. In my mind I see a table laden with scrumptious food, all homemade of course; clean, beautifully dressed children, playing calmly with each other; and extended family members chatting, laughing and enjoying a single glass of wine, while I calmly serve, hostess, and take the time to hug each of my children. In reality, I am harried and exhausted, the children are squabbling, and some relatives are trying not to argue. I do manage to take the time to hug each of my children.
As parents, we put ourselves under great stress during the holidays. Our expectations of ourselves can be unrealistic and we often find our-selves feeling overwhelmed and depressed because we can rarely live up to our expectations. These tips may help you better cope with holiday stress and focus your energies on the really important things in life, like hugging your children.
After many years of trying to do it all during the holidays, I have learned not to sweat the small stuff and to allow myself the space to be less than perfect. As long as we can help build family memories, as long as we can laugh, and as long as we can hug our children, we will succeed.
|Donna Gordon is a clinical social worker. She works for Jewish Family Service and is a school social worker at various day schools in the Greater New Haven area.|
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