Morning Sun
  • EXTENSION CONNECTION: Enjoy and appreciate holiday family gatherings

  • Few families will be able to match the idealist images portrayed in holiday advertisements, but most can find joy in time spent together during this upcoming holiday season.

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  • Few families will be able to match the idealist images portrayed in holiday advertisements, but most can find joy in time spent together during this upcoming holiday season.
    Families are encouraged to extend the thankfulness typically associated with Thanksgiving celebrations throughout this holiday season and well into the new year.
    Feeling grateful for home, family, friends and life in general spills over into other activities and to others who sense your gratitude.
    A little planning can go a long way in relieving some of the family stress that is often felt when family members gather.
    Focusing on the gratitude you have for family and friends can help in facing the stresses of the season.
    The following “Ten Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress” can help you manage family time spent together over the coming holidays.
    1) Start early to plan family and other gatherings so everyone can reserve the dates on their calendar. Family calendar calendars fill up really fast this time of the yea!
    2) Involve others in the planning, so everyone is informed. Surprises can add stress unnecessarily.
    3) Be responsible for your family’s duties.  If each family does their part in providing food for the meals, hosting the gathering or in set-up and clean-up, then everyone can enjoy the time spent together.
    4) Ask families what they would like to bring, rather than making arbitrary assignments. Some family members may love baking the pies, while others may feel more comfortable bring the salad. Some adjustments may need to be made in the menu, if the pie maker is no longer with you this holiday season.
    5) Explain house rules to the children. If your family is a guest in a home, respect the wishes of the host family. If you are the host family, be sure there are safe and comfortable areas of the home for all family members, young and old, to be able to enjoy  and appreciate the time together.
    6) Leave disciplining other’s children to the children’s parents.
    7) Keep the peace during the holiday gatherings. Now is not the time to bring up touchy family topics.
    8) Balance out the activities for all ages. Plan age-appropriate activities, such as touch football and or table games for the children that will be attending. Have a back-up plan if the weather is bad and everyone will be closed up inside.
    9)  Don’t overstay your time together. Everyone needs his or her own space and time for self away from the full house of family and friends.
    10) If you find yourself away from family during this holiday season, don’t build stress for yourself with loneliness. There are many service organizations needing lots of volunteers during this holiday season. Help serve a community dinner or give time to a food or toy drive. There are others needing your time and friendship during this holiday season.
    Page 2 of 2 - By focusing on others, rather than yourself, you will find the true joys of the season.
    Appreciation is a wonderful thing.
    Take time to be appreciative for all you have during this holiday season and put those stresses aside.
    For additional information, contact the Wildcat Extension District, Crawford County, 620-724-8233, Labette County, 620-784-5337, Montgomery County, 620-331-2690, Pittsburg Office, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP), 620-232-1930.
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