One Thing You Must Do Before Planning a Holiday
You travel through life, going in and out of different seasons. Some seasons give you handfuls of free time, independent children, or easy circumstances. And sometimes, you fall into bed every night exhausted, only to be woken up countless times during the early morning hours.
The first step to planning a peaceful celebration is to evaluate your current life season. You do this to enjoy your family traditions to the fullest without feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or fearful.
Here are three questions to ask yourself before planning your next holiday:
1. How have you been feeling recently?
I know this is not the question we typically start with when planning a holiday, but we should.
It doesn't matter what you see other people doing on social media, what your family expects, what you expect from yourself, or what you did last year.
None of that matters. You are no longer that person, you are not that person on social media, and this is not the same year.
Take a moment to evaluate how you are feeling right now. Plan accordingly.
If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or tired, use an open & go celebration guide or plan 1-2 simple experiences to share as a family.
If you feel busy, but are managing well, choose 3-4 experiences to share with your family. Read, watch, and eat something related to the holiday and call it good!
If you feel inspired, excited, and content, go all out and plan something big for your family.
Remember, just because you choose to celebrate simply this year does not mean that it is your choice forever. And if you go all out this year, you do not need to go all out next year.
2. What does your schedule look like?
Where do you typically look when planning your holidays? At other people's plans? Unattainable inspiration on Instagram? Let's start with our calendars instead.
Start by looking at the weeks that surround the holiday. If you are planning a bigger holiday, do you have time available two weeks before the holiday to prepare? Do you have time after the holiday to get your home back in order and decompress?
Here are my recommendations for planning your holiday:
If you have 1-3+ appointments, all-day events, or draining commitments the week of the holiday, plan a simple celebration or use an open-and-go guide would be best.
If you have 1-2 light commitments, an intentional celebration with 3-4 planned experiences (like reading, eating, talking, and watching) would work well.
If your schedule is clear, and you have no events, appointments, or commitments a holiday with 4-6+ experiences would still be manageable.
3. How do you want to feel when the holiday is over?
Sometimes it is better to look at the end of something to plan the beginning better. Have you ever asked yourself this question when planning a holiday? It's an important one.
A simpler holiday will do the trick if you want to feel satisfied and peaceful.
If you want to feel intentional and hopeful, a holiday with a few key experiences will get you there.
If you want to feel inspired and look forward to the next one, a more elaborate holiday might be best for you.
You need to decide for yourself.
Overwhelm can make me feel like I shouldn't do anything because my expectations of what I "should do" are so high, but I also know if I do nothing, I will feel disappointed.
I realized what I "should do" was based on what I saw happening in other people's homes and feeds. But, unfortunately, that would never leave me feeling peaceful and happy.
I needed to cultivate a holiday experience that works for my family and my season.