START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

How to Have a Realistic and Positive Holiday

  • 1 of 3
How to Have a Realistic and Positive Holiday

By Carol Bradley Bursack, AgingCare.com

There’s an image of holiday perfection that our culture encourages. Starting with Thanksgiving, we are inundated with fantasy images of perfect families happily enjoying each other’s company during a holiday meal. Most of us have memories from our childhood that feed this drive toward the Norman Rockwell nostalgia of holidays past. If we lived it, we want to duplicate it. If we didn’t, we want to create it.

Few of us can measure up to the fantasy – caregivers least of all. There’s so much denial of today’s reality in these images resurrected each holiday and thrown at us by every means, from advertisements to blockbuster movies. These images feed expectations that are impossible to meet.

How to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

The “average” family is vastly different than the average family of yore. Today’s families are often a patchwork of children, step-children, step-in-laws, step-siblings and elders of varying degrees of relationship and health. Add to that the fact that people marry later and often have children at an older age, and you’ve got a package that often includes young children, teenagers, young adults,  forty-something caregivers, a parent who’s had a stroke or two, and maybe one with dementia.

None of this stops holiday celebrations, nor should it. It’s just that sometimes we carry with us the memories (of a time that likely wasn’t as perfect as we remember it), and strive (expect?) to reconstruct this past under totally different circumstances. Then, if we don’t feel we’ve succeeded, we are swamped by guilt. Way too often, in the caregivers’ mind, expectations not met equals failure.

Related:
Valentine’s Day: When a Loved One Can’t Understand the Holidays
This Fourth of July, Exercise Your Right To Rebel
Making Holidays Special for Your Elders…No Matter Where They Live

Have a Realistic and Positive Holiday Experience originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

  • 1 of 3

Read more: Aging, Caregiving, Children, Christmas, Family, Holidays, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

6 comments

+ add your own
2:00PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Ditch the thneeds obsession!

11:28AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

"Drop the fantasy of perfection and lose the guilt." Wise words indeed not only for the holidays but always...do the best you reasonably can and accept who you are!

11:29PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

thanks

9:39PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

thanks. it's ok to be low-key for the holidays.

4:27PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Thanks for this great article.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I'm basically a crazy dog lady, having 5 dogs but I do love my little rescue cat, Poppie

thank you diane maceachern..............this are good tips......i shared them on facebook

I've had my Casper for a few weeks now. Really loving it! Did a lot of reserach to decide between…

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.