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Share Responsibilities For Joyous Holidays
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Family members need to share holiday chores to minimize the stress on any individual during the hectic season.
Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the holidays can be overwhelming if one person assumes all the responsibility for the many details needing attention.
"Some people are just better at certain things, and they spend time in their most gifted areas. Sometimes family members will assume one individual wants to do more than he or she really wants to do," Davis said. "Families need to sit down and communicate their expectations, then divide tasks and responsibilities so that everyone can contribute to the holiday experience."
Davis said children need to see parents sharing in the holiday effort. Take time to teach children that the holidays are a time of giving to and doing for others.
"Not only do the children learn that both parents appreciate and contribute to the family holiday experience, they witness the importance of communicating needs and expectations," Davis said. "Even when parents are divorced, effective communication for the good of the children is important."
The list of holiday chores can be staggering when considered by a lone family member. Decorating the home, buying gifts, sending cards and cooking food are each more fun when done with other family and friends.
Davis recommended that families prioritize tasks.
"Include children in the preparations with jobs that are age and ability appropriate. Wrapping or making gifts can help build a positive self esteem," Davis said.
"Some jobs, such as decorating, just require two people or at least are much easier with help," Davis said. "Even single people without children should look for friends to include in the preparations for a happy holiday season."
Holidays are known for causing depression as much as bringing joy. Realistic expectations are an important key in keeping the right spirit.
"Don't expect to do everything yourself or for everything to be perfect," Davis said. "Outside factors often keep people from achieving their goals for a perfect holiday event. Finding time for your own needs will improve your ability to deal with the stresses that are sure to come and make you much more pleasant to be around as well."