Why Your Family Holidays Should Be A Little 'Less' Magical

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Christmas decorations
Stressed over that picture-perfect family holiday? Take the emphasis off all the "magic," and relax.

Tip #3: Communicate about expectations. We all live incredibly busy lives. We work at our jobs, we work in our homes, and we work at our relationships. But this holiday season, if you're feeling like the burden has, once again, fallen only on you, talk to you partner about how their contributions might improve your stress level. Importantly, his involvement (or lack thereof) is telling your kids that it is Mom's job to care for relationships and dad's job to just show up. Your kids aren't the only ones who need to learn the holidays don't magically come to fruition. Your husband does, too. Just making him aware of your feelings will go along way. 3 Common Communication Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Tip 4: Let go of control and super-high standards. In order to create lasting change, change that includes our children and husbands becoming more involved, we'll have to become comfortable with imperfection and some messiness in the process. And yeah, that may compromise the "magical" image of the season a bit, but hear me out.

Many women claimed they don't trust their family members to be highly involved in holiday work. I, for one, can completely relate. I think we've all probably had the experience where the husband says he'll call his mom to nail down the details of where and when you'll get together. But upon asking him the results of the conversation, he looks at you blankly and says, "Oh. Oops..." 4 Non-Annoying Ways To Get Him To Do What You Want

Of course, this makes you both look bad, right? And we ladies don't like to look bad. So we take it upon ourselves to do everything. We assume the responsibility because we don't trust our partners to do it. You have to get over this. But how?

Get together the women in your family and say, "Hey, let's include the guys more in planning this year." Acknowledge to the other ladies that involving them might make things a little messy. Miscommunications might happen. You may even end up without a turkey because someone delegated this to one of the boys, who didn't check it off the list of holiday essentials you've all been following for years. But, if you don't try, you might never know what your holidays could evolve into—happier, less stressful, filled with gratitude, etc.—and this could be an opportunity to find humor and joy in the planning process. Why not give it a try?

Tip #5: Set holiday goals... as a family, or as a couple, and continue to make a goal or two each year. It may sound laborious for the light atmosphere of the holidays, but it doesn't have to be. Keep in mind your life stage, and what is most important to you right now, this year. Goals will be different for families with young children than they would be for families with high school children. 7 Tips For Setting Goals In Your Marriage

For instance, I recently spoke with a grandmother who said this: She wanted to play with her grandchildren as much as possible this year. So, she decided to shape her holiday around the goal of "play." Rather than focusing so much on having a perfect meal like she's done in the past, she wants to take her grandkids sledding and ice skating, while spending as much time outdoors with them as possible. So, instead of slaving away in the kitchen, she's going to prepare homemade hot chocolate with all the fixings and think of fun things to do with the kids during the holidays.

Do you think you could do that? Let go a bit? It might mean a little less time doing prep work, a little less of your typical "magic," but the memories you'll create and the stress you'll avoid will be well worth the sacrifice.

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