Spending Time

Rebecca Pollard, Culture Editor 

Around the Holidays there’s a mad rush to see every family member you have. Your great aunt wants to make sure you visit, and if you say you don’t have the time, she slips in that this might be her last holiday. Your parents, who split up years ago, both insist on seeing you and both want to have you for dinner. Now add in your significant other, who also has some equivalent of your great aunt and parents who live in two different households. No matter what your situation is, splitting up your time during the Holiday season can be, and usually proves to be, stressful. Here are some things to keep in mind when divvying up your holiday time this year:

  1. In a relationship, no one’s family is more important than the others. Just like every other aspect of any relationship, it’s all about give-and-take. Don’t plan on spending the entire holiday with either family. No matter how you split it, whether it’s by day or by hour, you need to make sure you share a meal or a movie with both families (otherwise, the family you don’t visit is probably going to become bitter fast, and rightfully so!).
  2. You can’t plan happiness, however the holidays provide a fantastic platform for happiness. Try to remember that the holidays should be spent with people you genuinely care about, and truly want to spend time with. Don’t let old friends guilt you into coming out if you’d rather spend the night playing Scrabble with your Grandma. Vice-versa, don’t let your Grandma guilt you into staying in if you’ve been with her the last 3 nights in a row!
  3. The holidays are not, and should not ever be, about gifts. Don’t let the fact that you didn’t have enough money or time this year to get someone a gift stop you from seeing them. If said person is upset that you didn’t get them something, they maybe (probably) shouldn’t be someone you visit anyway. That being said, showing up completely empty-handed to parties can be taken as an insult. So cards, flowers, and food are all great options you could pick-up on the way.
  4. Time is finite, and anyone and everyone living in twenty-first century America should understand that. If you can’t fit everyone in before or during the holidays, remind them that you have an entire month off of school and there’s plenty of time to hangout after. Although it’s nice to catch up with old friends and family during the holidays, it’ll be just as nice to visit post-holidays as well. This also means there will be less traffic on your way there!
  5. Lastly, everyone who you want to see most likely wants to see you too. However if there isn’t any indication of that, it might be easier to cross them off the list. For example, you don’t want to be driving five hours for a lunch date. Make your plans realistic, and only plan events and gatherings you actually want to be physically and mentally present at.

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