Rethinking the Holidays

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In the last week or so I’ve had some interesting conversations with friends about the upcoming holidays.

Over all, most of us are pretty stressed, tired, budget crunched and not exactly looking forward to the potential mine field that often accompanies holiday gatherings.

What to do?

Many people approach the holidays with the mind set that they need to continue traditions that they either started “way back when” or grew up with.

This becomes more and more complicated when you blend families.

Some folks are not in a financial state to spend the money they used to – or simply do not want to – but don’t know quite what to do to make the holidays special.

Why not switch it up a bit?

Have you heard the story about the mother and daughter reminiscing about Grandma’s wonderful roast ham and how it was always made in that Special Pan?  They spent a lot of time discussing the preparation and the wonderful presentation but when it came to actually doing the recipe themselves, they felt it impossible.  Why?  Because they didn’t have the Special Pan.

When they explained this to Grandma (who was hoping to not have to make the wonderful roast ham that year), her reaction surprised and shocked them.

Turned out that the only reason the Special Pan was used was because it was the only one Grandma had Way Back When and she just continued to use it as the years rolled by.

Traditions are what happens when you continue to do something.  That doesn’t mean that the something needs to be repeated, it can be replaced.

Why not try a pot luck instead of making the entire dinner yourself?  Share the fun in the kitchen with others in the party who might actually want to participate.  Entertaining With Beth has a great Friendsgiving menu that is easy to put together and no one has to be a Chef to make one (or all) of the dishes.

Not really into a turkey or roast ham?  Why not change the menu to something that you would prefer?  I knew of a family who created an Italian feast for Christmas Eve. 

Why not really make it special and check out a local restaurant to see if they will be open for the holidays or if they will prepare a feast that you can take home?

When you compare the cost of cooking yourself to eating out, you might be surprised to find it isn’t what you expect.

Gift giving can also be an issue.  Lots and lots of stress surrounding budget and wish lists and crowds and traffic.

It may fly in the face of Tradition, but why not shop at home?  A good cup of coffee, slippers, some nice music in the background and a lot of online catalogs could provide you with what you are looking for without spending a lot.  (And if you use Ebates &/or Honey you could save even more!)

At the end of the day, how you celebrate the holidays is up to you.  There is nothing that says you can’t make them the kind of experience you want.  If you have family, bring them into the conversation and see what they would like to do.  You might be surprised to learn that maybe they want a break from the hustle and bustle too.

Food for thought.  🙂

Categories: Musings

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