The holidays are quickly approaching. It represents a time of family, friends, food, travel and is the start of a beautiful season. This year, things may be looking a bit different than years past. Home for the holidays has taken on a new meaning. Instead of dwelling on the things that are out of our control, maybe we need to see this as an opportunity to spice things up.

Making It All About a Smaller Family

My family moves around every couple of years. It is very difficult for us to get together with our extended families. Plus, as families expand and change, it becomes increasingly difficult to gather everyone together. As a result, every year is different and we see it as a chance to create our own special memories.

There are only four people in my immediate family. Holidays are usually pretty quiet and low key and there is something nice about that. Not having to rush around or attain some lofty goal created by holidays past relieves some of the pressure that can occur this time of year. Being able to focus and spend time with just the four of us makes our bond even stronger.

A New Tradition

My husband and I have never been a fan of a huge holiday meal. Every year, we talk about how it is so expensive and takes all day to cook. Don’t even get me started on the clean up.

We’ve decided to start a new tradition this year where we all get to pick our favorite foods and we will plan a meal around those. It gives us a chance to have everyone involved in the preparation and enjoy all of the food on the table. I’m pretty sure my youngest is going to insist we have sushi or crab legs, so we may have to assign her to the dessert portion of the meal. I’m looking forward to making this our new tradition that my girls may choose to carry on in their own families.

Low Stress is Best

This has been a very stressful year characterized by a lot of down time. Even so, what if we gift ourselves permission to be lazy and relax? We don’t have to travel or enter into any less-than-exciting family dynamics. We didn’t even have to leave the house to go Black Friday shopping. Is there a movie marathon you’ve been talking about doing for a while?  A stack of books sitting by your bed, waiting to be read? Have you been putting off going through your kids closet?

If we see this as a blessing and not a curse, we may all be able to look back without regret and realize that we all got to recharge our batteries.

Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes, it’s important for us all to remember that life has no playbook. Holiday traditions and frankly, all traditions are allowed to be adapted and changed. It is easy to find ourselves being saddened by things we may have lost, but we have to work with the hand we have been dealt. How we choose to move forward will determine how we look back for years to come.

So, fill your bellies with abandon and wear out your jammies. This holiday season may prove to be even better than the last.