The truth is the holidays - like weddings - bring out the best and worst in people. If you have strong family traditions on both sides, it can be difficult try and find a medium and while some people can figure out a way -- some families never do. My advice? Find a middle ground and work from there.
The holidays can be a time of great memories, bringing family together and they can also be a time of sorrow and unpleasant times. It can also overwhelm you, stress you out and ultimately be one of your favorite times of the year. It's the end of the year - you think you would be able to relax but nope. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years -- all happening within 90 days of each other and that alone is crazy -- add in family, traditions, obligations, parties and presents and it's one giant cocktail of crazy.
So how do you get through the holidays...alive? First and foremost, look at yourself. If you don't like the holidays than it's time to change your outlook. If you have a family now things change, priorities change.The key is to be conscious about what you’re doing. This holiday season, don’t unthinkingly do things the same way just because that’s how you always do them. If the old holiday traditions aren’t working, if they’re not making you happy and causing holiday stress, it’s time to do something different.
What I've learned in being with my husband for almost a decade is that you should find a happy medium and try to stick to it. They are two very separate holidays so it's best to give them their due and figure out how separate and both bring together at the same time.
What do we do?
At first we made the attempt to combine the holidays in the same room/same decorations pattern, and while our sad little tree and menorah worked in our apartment - the overall scaled decorations it didn't really work out. So we do a Christmas room (red, silver and touches of gold) and then a Hanukkah room (blue and gold with touches of silver). It works out really nicely so that we can do basically whatever we want for both holidays.
I thought it was best to have colors divided because each room can have it's own identity while still being separate so that we can give each holiday the proper due.
Some people think its a bit much to not just make one room and be done; however, we found out that designating a separate room for each holiday makes being able to celebrate that holiday a little more fun. Lighting candles in the Hanukkah room or decorating the tree in the Christmas room.
But hey, it's all about finding what is best for you.
So what do you do for the holidays?