While simplifying your holiday season, take time for relationships to thrive, not just survive the holidays. Keep those relationships balanced with your holiday planning. People ARE more important than things at this time of year. Here are some relationship principles using one of the familiar words of the holiday as an easy to apply acrostic:
- C enter your heart on the true, deeper meaning of the holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s.) This will help everyone become easier to get along with because the heart of the holiday will remain intact.
- H ear what your friends and family are voicing as their stress, and listen carefully to them—a gift that will lower their stress.
- R each out as a family to help others in order to keep the proper perspective on what is really important in life.
- I nvest in memories, not material goods. Make time for family baking, tree decorating, or board games.
- S peak your love in words. The best gift you can give is for a person to hear their value and worth from your lips.
- T ake time for romance. The greatest gift you can give your spouse, children, and friends is a happy home.
- M ake time to reach out to extended family. Visit or call grandparents, aunts, and uncles. If possible, use modern technology like a Webcam to connect.
- A ssume nothing; ask those who are celebrating with you what their expectations are, and communicate the plan clearly so people feel informed.
- S tay flexible. Don’t be a Christmas Scrooge, ordering family around. Instead slow the pace, gather consensus, and give options so that you create an environment of connecting and sharing.
- ! Exclaim your joy with music, memories and by making the most of all your relationships!
Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists, international speakers, and authors of more than forty-five books, including best-selling Men Are like Waffles, Women Are like Spaghetti.