Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home for the Holidays

Holidays are a time traditionally spent with family and friends.  Many of you are used to celebrating them with your parents or siblings and in specific ways.  Whether it's lighting the menorah or decorating the Christmas tree, there are certain practices you look forward to each year.  Now that there is a new person in your life, however, you may ask yourself 'how am I going to celebrate this year?' It's a fair question asked by many a bride.  After all, two people means two families and many families celebrate holidays differently.  Not to mention, if both families live on opposite sides of the country, how do you choose which family to spend which holiday with?  These aren't simple decisions to be made, but like most decisions it begins with a conversation.  It's important for you and your fiance to talk about the holidays and what they mean to you.  Share with each other how you are used to spending it and if there are certain holidays that have more significance to you.  If spending time with family is important to both of you, make an effort to spend different holidays with each of your folks.  Maybe one year you will decide to spend Christmas with your parents and the next with his.  The idea is to show each family that you care about and want to spend time with them, but want to share your time equally with both sides.  Discussing your decision with your respective family members will also help.
Keep in mind that various other factors will likely occur when making your decision.   Things like finances, time off from work, and other commitments may play a role in where you choose to spend which holidays.  Talking about things in advance and splitting your time fairly (or close to it) between families is a good start to reducing holiday stress or feuds and keeping all parties happy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Feeling the Spirit

Last month I was out for a walk with my daughter.  The vibrant colors of the trees surrounded us, leaves were crunching under our feet,  and the smell of a fireplace filled the air. The spirit of the holidays was upon us and something sparked within me.  It's amazing how the little things around us can create a whole new feeling inside of us. So often we rush through our days without taking the time to notice the small details.  And maybe if we looked a little closer, breathed a bit deeper, or listened more carefully we would recognize something we didn't notice before.  Maybe there would be a spark within that would help us feel happier, calmer, or more positive throughout our days.  Sure we can argue that the opposite effect can take place too.  But it all depends on what you're looking for.  If your goal is to find goodness and happiness in yourself and the world, you're more likely to see the positive side of things.  Same holds true for all your goals, including your wedding.  If you try and maintain a positive, balanced approach to the planning process and you aim to slow down and focus on the world around you, you may begin to find all the pieces falling together.  Maybe you'll hear a song in a store or notice some flowers in a window, that will be right for your wedding.  And even if the "little things" you notice aren't directly related to your planning, it could help with the emotional aspect of wedding planning, like feeling more relaxed or taking more time for you.
During my walk, I wondered why the spark within was more prominent during this season than any other time.  I came to the conclusion that between the holiday music and movies, decorations, sweet smells in the air, and people being in a generally happier mood, it must be because we taste it all around us in some sense or other.  And while it's wonderful to have the holiday spirit, during this time of year, I challenge myself and each of us to feel the same spark even when it's not right in front of us.