Q&A: “Topping” the previous holiday vacation

Q: Somehow our family has fallen into a pattern of needing to “top” the previous school holiday season. My children seem to expect a bigger and better holiday vacation, and it always falls on me to make it happen. Frankly, I don’t have the energy. Can you help me out? 

A: There are plenty of us who know exactly what you’re talking about. It seems our culture is trending away from the simple and towards the extravagant in almost every area of life. Outrageous birthday parties, theatrical marriage proposals, grandiose weddings, and over-the-top events of all kinds have become the norm. As you’ve experienced, it’s an unhealthy expectation that creates a lot of unnecessary stress. When it comes to school holidays, we believe there’s a better way. 

You can enrich your family’s experience of the school holiday season by looking for ways to maximise everyday moments. It’s a principle often applied to the challenge of building a stronger marriage, but it can also be used to lessen holiday stress and strain as well. 

Instead of staging a Grand Family Vacation, try introducing the school holidays into the little things you do each day during December. For instance, bake a batch of cookies and give them to the teachers and friends in school when you send them back to school in January. Get your clothes out from the cupboard and involve everyone in sorting them out to give away. Play music at mealtimes or before bed. Take advantage of small opportunities to share memories or talk about what the school holiday season means to you. There are endless ways to give each day a creative twist. 

Try it and we guarantee you’ll like it!  In fact, you may never have a big school holiday blowout again!

​​© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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