This post is just a quick and important reminder for you  and your family during the holidays.

It is amazing how we’ve made holidays that should be peaceful, relaxing, and loving into hectic mad-houses of frustration and exhaustion. We all seem to have this tendency to over commit and over extend ourselves with trips all over the state to appease parents, grand parents, sibling, aunts, uncles, family friends… the list is endless.

In the endless pursuit to make everyone happy, we grumble, have crappy attitudes, criticize, complain, yell at each other, only to get to our location and engage with family with exhaustion and superficiality. In doing this we risk emptying our marriages / families of love, compassion, and understanding. Not only is this counter to Christ’s message, but it ruins and perverts the blessings and focus of the holidays!

Take care to remember and ACT on your priorities during the holidays: God, marriage, immediate family, others. You will NEVER be able to make everyone happy! It is absolutely acceptable to say “We love you, but will not be able to make it over this year. We are going to take a family relaxation day.” People may hoot-and-holler and say they are offended… but life will go on. This may also provide a great opportunity to engage in a similar discussion with your family.

As we are ramping up for 5-6 weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year parties, dinners, get-togethers, etc… TALK WITH YOUR SPOUSE! Discuss your objectives for the holidays and make a plan of attack for all your commitments, being very careful to not take on too many responsibilities and too much traveling.

Make sure you approach discussions with family and friends as a united front! Do not place responsibility on your spouse by saying comments like “My husband said we cannot come over this year. I really wish we could.” This undermines your spouse, the message, the intent, and is a bit cowardly.

Execute your plan and enjoy your holidays!