There’s seems to always be a little underground tension surging the family unit. Siblings always seem to have some kind of tiff even during their adult years.
My mother had three children – me being the oldest one. As kids, we all fought from time to time. Crazy thing about it is – well, it was crazy at times.
Do you wanna know what our fights were usually over?
Our quarrels were often about something that didn’t go our way.
In other words, our struggles were often about one of us being selfish or self-centered. We never fought over anything important or special. It was always over stupid stuff.
That's besides the times when my brother and I would tease our sister until she grew aggravated with us and a fight would breakout.
I’m so glad we grew up! Today we laugh at some of those times.
Recently, I got to spend time during Thanksgiving with my sister and her family as well as my mom. We had a great time!
This week I got to spend time with my brother who happened to be close by during one of this travels with his job and managed to spend a few days with us.
Guess what? None of us argued about anything? Oh for goodness sakes, we are all adults now. The great thing is, we have learned to get along. An art many families seem to struggle with.
I even think that now we’re making up for lost time – we laugh more than being serious. Even when talking about serious things like some problems, politics or theology, we still find a way to joke about something and laugh hard.
The holidays are tough times for many families. Some have lost their loved ones, while others can’t get off work to gather with their relatives across the States.
Meanwhile, for others, there isn’t enough money to for the holidays while for others, it’s the most “stressful time of the year.” From travels, to finances to buying the “right” gifts for others for whatever reason, other than “just because.”
Let me share with you 8 “Must Dos” to keep the holidays enjoyable and meaningful – regardless.
These ideas and principles have come by way of observation in other people’s lives (as a minister I’ve been involved in many people’s lives) as well as personal experiences.
When it comes to having fun and be fun during Christmas, be sure to:
1. Keep the main thing – the main thing.
For our family Christmas is about the birth of Christ. Gifts, food and visits are secondary. We do buy gifts and enjoy giving them very much, but we refuse to allow the meaning of Christmas to be lost by the exchange of gifts or visits during this time. We enjoy our tradition in celebrating Jesus' birthday.
2. Stress less.
Man, trying to find deals and having enough money for it all is a chore! You know the drill.
You go to the store during Black Friday or sometime thereafter to get the good deals. You’re excited and can’t wait to get things done. Sometime during your mission, you encounter the most rude people (and nice people too), you bump into others as they try to cut in line to pay for their goods.
Restaurants seem to all be in a hurry so your food is sometimes undercooked or your order incomplete. Well you know, keep it simple. We’ve chosen to do most of our shopping online, have it delivered to our door and wrap it up.
We cook at home and eat fun foods that aren’t deadly – but somewhat nutritious.
The results? Pure success, in more ways than one.
For some I realize this is not an option so try to go shopping late at night if you can and avoid the malls and the crazy traffic which I refuse to talk about – I won’t go there.Ugh!
3. Implement good and fun family time.
We often tell our kids that after all is said and done; your siblings will eventually be or can be your best friends.
I have good friends – in fact, I have great best friends, but it is with my siblings that I carry some of the best conversations and laugh the hardest with.
We know each other pretty well and we don’t have to say much to make the other crack up cause we know the story behind the story. Know what I mean? Yeah you do.
4. Enjoy yourself and enjoy others.
Let this Christmas season be one of enjoyment. Make fun cookies if you can. Eat fun foods without getting sick or gain too much weight. Visit friends and relatives. Keep it light - keep it fun - keep it meaningful.
5. Don’t overdo it.
That’s right! Don’t eat too much to the point of getting depressed when New Year’s Eve rolls around. But don’t starve yourself either. Don’t shop ‘til you drop.
Take time during the year (next year) and shop for Christmas. This is one of the ways my wife does it. By the time Black Friday rolls around, she’s ready with most presents already wrapped.
Sometimes she uses Black Friday or Cyber Mondays to buy for the following year. Yeah, that’s smart. I like it.
Don’t overdo it in purchasing items that are expensive so you don’t look like a cheapskate. Sure give nice gifts but don’t go refinancing your mortgage to get impressive presents. Get what you can and and enjoy the outcome.
6. Don’t under-do it.
Here’s what I mean: When you think your best is not good enough - don't sweat it. Don’t let yourself get depressed or upset if the gift you gave your best friend is more expensive than then one you gave her or him.
This is one of those things I hate about the holidays. I don’t get into that. I give gifts simply because I care and because I think they might be cool.
I don’t care if I get a $5.00 gift from the person I spent $50.00 on. It’s OK. It’s not about the price – it’s about the heart and the fun behind it. It’s supposed to be fun, not competitive.
7. Give. Give with joy.
Especially, give kindness, love and consideration. Don’t just give money, give of yourself. You can even give of your time and efforts at a food pantry or soup kitchen where for some that is all they’ll get this season. Just give.
8 Most importantly, give God his time.
After all, Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus. Don’t forget to give him his birthday present – yourself, your time and your love.
There’s more I can write about on this topic, like manners, traditions and such. But I’d like to leave that up to you. I’d like you to share what you enjoy doing during Christmas season.
Help me add to this list – you never know who else you’re going to help during this special season.
Question: What else can you add to his list? What's another "must do" to keep Christmas enjoyable and meaningful? Please share below.
About the Author
Alex Colón, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Teacher, Pastor, Blogger and best of all, Husband and Father of 4. Living the re-Branded life