- Dennis Collins
The holiday season has begun! Remember no hitting your wife!
Soon will we be flooded with stories about increased incidents of domestic violence during the holiday season. I heard the first one this past weekend.
As this popped into my mind, I did do a little research and have found there are conflicting studies as to whether this is true.
What I do know is real is we create in our minds a whole lot more stress on ourselves during the holiday season. We think we have to have the perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah. We do not need perfect. We need family, we need fun.
If you are going through or have recently gone through a divorce this year the first holidays after it can be very difficult. This is because we:
Focus on what was lost
Our routine has been changed
We let negativity cloud our thinking
We may be alone during the holidays
I have friends that will complain more about family and all of the running around, the obligations and expectations.
There is also, of course, the financial cost of these holidays. While too late for this year I will give you a tip for next year. Start putting money aside in January or at some point earlier in the year so you can pay cash and enjoy it.
Yeah, I'm a Dave Ramsey guy, I pay cash for things. Is the monthly budget tight? You get an extra paycheck two months a year, you could harvest some of that extra money to pay for the holidays.
But back to the extra stress caused by the holidays. This will be a little disappointing to you but almost all of the stress is self-inflicted in made up by yourself.
Are you trying to do too much to please everyone else?
You're worried about pleasing everybody instead of focusing on what's best for you and your family. Maybe you need to have that hard discussion with family this year we're going to do this and next year we're going to do that.
You could almost use the technique of is it doesn't bring us joy we're not going to do it. There is always one family that's more fun to go visit or one family that is extremely expensive to go visit or not quite close enough to drive and it's an expensive flight. You have to figure out what's best for your family.
Some people worry so much about upsetting their parents and disappointing them they make themselves miserable. Remember we should be enjoying the holidays, with or without our family.
The biggest take away from this is that I want to you sit back and think do you have any friends who have gone through a divorce or death of a loved one this year, or co-workers you know will be alone on Thanksgiving or Christmas?
If you are the one who suffered the loss, focus on the positive, create new routines. Maybe you have to do your Thanksgiving on Saturday because the ex has the kids on Thursday, so what.
Talk to them and invite them to join you and your family for the holiday meal. One more mouth to feed at the holiday meal is not hard to accommodate. You have no idea how big this could be for them.
If you are reading this, I know you are not the kind of man who would hit his wife, not during the holiday, not ever. Remember to minimize stress, minimize alcohol, forget perfection, have fun and no beating anyone up either physically or mentally, including yourself.