Holiday Expectations, Yearend Expectations – What are your expectations for these December holidays? How can you have an awesome December regardless?
Very often at this time of year everyone is tired and just looking forward to the holidays, some may not even be going away this year. Have you given some thought as to what you want for the holidays? Would you like to just relax and have quiet time, or fun time? Do your children have expectations of all the things they want to do with you? Spending a little time thinking and talking about what you want for the holidays can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of it.
Some people may not be going away due to this year we have had, but we can still make these December holidays a time for fun, love, and connection.
Here are some ideas to create an AWESOME holiday whether you go away or stay at home
- Have a pre-holiday family meeting
Before we go on holiday (whether we are staying at home or going away) we always have a family meeting to talk about what each of us want from the holiday. That way all of our expectations are heard and we can make sure that everyone gets what they want. As parents, if we have thought about what we want and what our boundaries are, we can facilitate our children’s expectations and reduce disappointments and unnecessary conflicts.
Be clear in what you would like, how much rest time, what activities you would like to do together and alone or with each member of the family, what your financial boundaries are, even cooking and chores. Very often routines change during holiday, what routines do you still want in place and what can you relax on? Then you can ask your children what they would like.
What would they like to do?
You can give them a budget in time and money
Allow them to research what is available
Tell them what your wants are
Where would they like to go?
Are there any things they want to do specifically with mom or dad or friends?
Would they like to invite anyone?
Involve them in some of the chores. How can they help with the packing? How can they help with the cooking? Including them in the chores and organising of the holiday gives them a sense of belonging and togetherness, even if they resist. I remember my younger son was not as capable and we were inclined to just do everything. When we started to include him, even just helping to carry something to the car, he felt part of the team. We can focus on really valuing each member of the family and letting them feel heard and seen.
- Focus on developing Love and Connection
When we are on holiday, we have a little more time to think about and be present with each other. Consciously choose to share love. Feel it. Give your partner and children an extra hug, stop and feel love when you do it. Look them in the eyes for longer, acknowledge them. When you do things together, become aware that your thoughts are not on something else. Practise to bring your focus to the present moment. Think about what small thing you can do for each other, like make a cup of tea. Can your children bring you breakfast in bed? Focus on their expression of love and not the result of the breakfast. Encourage your children to express love, teach them to stop and feel love when they do it. When we express love it feels good, no matter where we are.
- Listen to each other’s needs
Even though you may have some form of plan and expectation for each day, listen and notice how each family member feels. Be flexible and encourage open honest communication. Give each other the freedom to say no sometimes. Allow each other to express what they really want even if there is opposition. Sometimes getting someone to do an activity when they don’t really want to, can spoil the enjoyment of it. I know when my sons were younger, they had very different interests. I used to try get all of us to do things together and then the focus would land up being on motivating the resistant one to keep engaged. When I learnt to let go, we started to enjoy activities more authentically. When we feel heard we are more willing to give. When we participate and give because we want to, it is more satisfying for all of us.
- Take time for yourself
Do you ever find yourself organising and making everything “nice” for everyone to have a good holiday and forget about yourself? Ever get disappointed? It is important to get clear on whose responsibility is whose in how happy each of us are on holiday…and every day. It is important to remember that each person’s happiness is their own responsibility even our small children. Teaching them to take responsibility for their happiness and ask for what they want is an important lesson. Teaching them that their happiness is not dependant on you doing something for or with them is important. This gives you the freedom to take time for yourself, and them the certainty in themselves that they control their happiness. If our children or partner are unhappy if we take time for ourselves, it is their responsibility to find a solution to their discomfort. Striving for a balance between your time and family time is key. Our happiness and peace comes from our managing this within ourselves and not their responses. Sometimes our need to have our family happy on holiday can override our real need. Choosing your real need will result in lasting fulfilment rather that instant peace in the moment.
So often when we think about holidays our attention is on what we are doing or where we are going and whether we get enjoyment from that. When we take a deeper look at what we really want to feel and experience and focus on creating and expressing that, we can have a wonderful holiday regardless of where we are or what is happening.
What are your holiday expectations? Create the holiday you want whether you are going away or not…just my shifting your perspective.
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