We are already in the swing of things for this holiday season. With Thanksgiving having just happened, you need only to blink before Christmas and New Years are here. But what if this is your last holiday season stateside? This is the last time you will be surrounded by this much family for a while. For me, Thanksgiving was my last holiday because I am not going home for Christmas or New Years. We tend to complain that time with family is not a vacation but rather more work but if this is the last one with them for a while, what would you do differently? Here are some things to consider on how to handle your last holiday at home.
Typically, every holiday, my family and I just go through the motions. For Thanksgiving, we did the same ole thing. We woke up, cooked, got dressed, friends and more family came over, we ate, then watched football. While this can be seen as a family tradition, I call it boring. With realizing that this was going to be my last holiday at home for a while, I decided we needed to spice things up. Why waste this precious time together just eating and watching football? This is a chance for us to really come together as a family and express our gratitude for each other. So I decided this Thanksgiving that we were going to say what we were thankful for and share it with other family and friends to see (in other words, Facebook). My family doesn’t know it yet, but the next Thanksgiving I am home, I’m going to have them look at what they said and see what changed. I want us to see how we’re growing as a unit of individuals.
In summation, I needed us to shake things up and create memories that I could tangibly take with me. So try to do something this holiday season that creates meaning for you and your family. This can even turn into a tradition over time.
The only reason I came up with this one is because I noticed my family doing it during Thanksgiving. I would want to go take a nap and one would say, “well this might be the last time we see each other for a while.” If I wanted to go watch a movie instead of going shopping, another would add, “we won’t get a chance to do this while you’re in Ireland.” Of course, I got suckered into doing whatever that person wanted. However, I also realized how important it was to have moments with each person in my family one on one. Who knows what will happen in that span of time that I am gone in their lives or in mine. Taking that time to be one-on-one is so important.
So for example, my grandmother is getting up in age and my top fear about me leaving is that she will pass while I am away. While I can’t put my life on pause for this fear, it is still legitimate. So I fully intend to make some one-on-one time with her while she’s visiting because I want to create those moments that I can take with me.
Take things home
Aside from all of the sentimental things of spending your last holiday at home, you also need to be smart about this. I don’t know about you but my family home has become my personal storage unit. All the things I do not need with me are stashed away at my parents’ house. Before going home, thoroughly go through all of your things and take home the items you do not need. Not sure what to keep and what to take? Please visit my purge article (pt. 2 coming out this month).
Getting rid of things little by little is going to be so much easier on you than doing it all at one time. I have even planned it so that I go home at least 3 times before moving to Ireland. The first time was in October, next this month, and lastly in April. The first round was little things that I hadn’t been using. This next purge is pushing me a little further on what I need and don’t need. Then finally in April, I pull out the big guns and sell/put everything else in storage. By that point, I will only be living with what I plan on taking to Ireland. I have accumulated a LOT of things over the years so doing it in chunks is best.
Be sure to take things home with you when you go for your last holiday.
Revisit favorite places
I am so ready to leave this country it’s not even funny. If I could finish my masters overseas and my family wouldn’t throw a fit about me not walking at graduation, I would be gone already. However, seeing as how that is not an option, I am trying to make the most out of the time I do have here. I know that when I go over there, there will be some restaurants, stores, and places I will miss and won’t have in Ireland. So I made the time to go visit these places over my break.
It’s best that you take that time to go visit your favorite places and maybe even take pictures to have with you.
Utilize your time at home during your last holiday. I didn’t mean for this article to come off as sad as I feel like it sounds but it is a bit sad. You are saying goodbye to one chapter and beginning a new one. That can be challenging. So make the most of every second you have.