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  • Ray St-Amour

How To Survive The Holidays - Part 2

In my last blog, I spoke of three tips that would help you and your partner survive the holidays. The first tip was about planning; to talk to your partner and come up with your social schedule plan and agree about setting some boundaries that would help each of you be comfortable with your partner’s friends and family. The second tip was to be on the same page; to negotiate so that both of you are getting enough of what you need from the social visits. The third tip was about financial budget; for both of you to agree on the amount to spend during this season so that there would be no surprises at the end of the holidays when the credit card bills came in. In this blog I will provide you with two more tips.

1. If you have children, don’t attempt the impossible. Often, couples with young children are multi stressed; all the relatives want to see the children and there are many social occasions where they are expected to attend. You know when your child has had enough, when their cranky self comes to the surface. It is okay to be honest with your relatives and friends. If one of you has to leave the social event to go back home with your child, that is okay. Or you may both decide to leave the gathering early. The holidays are for children too and their needs must be met.

2. The dividing of the chores during the holidays is even more important than the rest of the year. There is not only the regular house cleaning to be done. For some, the Christmas tree must be put up, the decorations put in all the main rooms, the baking of cookies with or without the children, the wrapping of the gifts (and hiding of the gifts if you have young children who believe in Santa), and of course, if you are hosting, all the planning details of that occasion. It is best to sit with your partner before this busy season begins to decide who does what. It is important to give and get “positive bids” (see blog “Five To One Ratio” for the explanation of what is a “bid”). Your partner may not know how much is involved in getting the house “ready” for the gathering. You may have to describe the list of things that need to be done and invite your partner to help you with it. Teamwork is always best. In the end it becomes a “win-win” situation. You will have accomplished this together, not one partner feeling they are doing all of the work.

Ultimately, you want to be able to enjoy the holidays with your partner, as stress free as possible. To do so, it requires to be on the same page and to plan for the holidays before they arrive. With this, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

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