Christmastime is heeerreeeee. Christmastime is heeeerreeeee! If you’re like me, you may have already started blasting the Christmas tunes. To be honest, I’ve already got my Christmas tree up and it’s only halfway through November! Christmastime and the holiday season in general are my favorite times of year. Seriously. I love going to church and singing Christmas carols. I love seeing all of the Christmas lights and eating good with family. I love it all!
One of the best things about the holiday season is the fact that I get to see my family. Living in a different state than most of my family is hard sometimes. I love them dearly and I miss them deeply often. I love being able to go back to my hometown and spend time with my family and friends there for the holidays.
With that said, sometimes the holiday season comes with other feelings, and sometimes going home can feel like I’m stepping back in time, like I’m going back to my adolescence and reliving some complex feelings from that time all over again.
Family is beautiful, and sometimes, family is complicated. Sometimes all it takes is one triggering comment from a family member, or one sour look from an in-law to have my panties in a bunch. I know I’m not the only one right?
Spending time and making memories with my family is incredibly important to me. So, it’s important for me to make sure that the time I get to spend with them during the holidays is positive. I don’t want to waste time feeling any negative emotions from my past or letting an off-color comment get me down. So, I’ve come up with a process that works for me! Ever since I’ve been doing this, I’ve had much better experiences going home.
Here are some tips for making the most of family time over the holidays.
Go Prayed Up
This may seem like a no brainer, but honestly, being “prayed up” before I go home has been a game changer for me. What this means, is I spend time in intentional prayer before going home. This can look like praying on the plane, praying on the road trip, and praying as I pack.
Specifically, I ask God to help me be completely present with my family members and to see the best in them. I also ask him to fill me with his peace, love and joy so that I can exude that in the midst of any situation I may find myself in for the holidays. Sometimes, I get down on my knees and say LORDDDDTTT help, help help!, and ask him to prepare my heart to receive and serve my family and to show up in a way that honors him.
Don’t Be Afraid to Time Box
Time boxing is a concept I’ve learned since being in the work force. Essentially, it means sectioning up your time and designating different times or hours of the day for specific activities. What this looks like for me, is I’ll make sure to outline when I’m going to be with family. And, I make sure to add in “me-time” or “bae-time” to spend time alone or with my husband, apart from family.
Those times help keep me grounded and replenish my energy so that I can continue to show up in a positive way with my family. For you, it may mean building some time to get out of the house into your plans, if you know you typically get cabin fever after being inside at your parents house for too long.
Or, if you have several family members you’d like to spend time with that don’t get along with one another, it could look like designating a day to spend time with one side of the family, and a separate day to make memories with the other side of the family.
Find a Safe Place to Lay Your Head
Let’s face it. Sometimes, you may not want to stay with relatives when you go home for the holidays. Maybe you need some space. Or, maybe you don’t feel comfortable around an extended family member who always seems to be turnt on brown liquor.
Whatever the cause, know that it’s okay to want some space. It’s okay to get your own Airbnb to have a place to go to, or to request to stay in the guesthouse, instead of your old childhood bedroom. As an adult, things should feel different in the best way when you go home. By that, I mean you have you own money (hopefully), own job, own clothes, etc and can’t nobody tell you nothing. With that, you have the freedom to engage however you’d like to and stay wherever makes you feel most comfortable.
How do you make the most of time with family during the holidays? Leave a comment and let me know!