The holidays are fast approaching and you are thinking about different activities to do with loved ones. Unfortunately, it turns out your adult kids and grandkids also have their plans for the holidays and you feel left out. Though it’s quite disappointing and sad, you have to be more understanding and considerate in these kinds of situations.
If you are still unsure how to face the holidays, don’t worry because, in this article, we will share 12 useful tips for grandparents so that you can enjoy the holidays without any resentment or hard feelings.
Holiday Tips for Grandparents to Keep in Mind
- Plan ahead: In planning for the holidays, it’s crucial to lay down your initial plans a month or a few weeks before the holiday season so that your adult kids can adjust or even combine their holiday plans with yours. Thus creating more memorable moments with the whole family. Planning also helps you know what things to buy and what things to not. This will avoid overbuying unnecessary stuff for the season.
- Be flexible: Sometimes, our plans for the holidays may not come to fruition. Trust me it happens and it’s more common than you think. Though this may hurt your feelings as a grandmother, you must understand that your in-laws are also involved in the planning phase. So why not connect with your grandkids or adult kids in a more priceless but sentimental way instead? For example, you can create postcards, call them on Skype, or even surprise visit them this coming Christmas or New Year.
- Adjust expectations: Part of being flexible is managing your expectations during the holidays. This means you should understand that being part of a nuclear family might not always guarantee that your plans will be put into action. For example, if it turns out your kids may not be able to visit you this year due to other plans they have with your in-laws, instead of sulking, use this holiday to visit other close relatives or friends you haven’t seen in a while. You can also move your plans on Thanksgiving, Birthdays, or other days that are most convenient for your loved ones.
- Focus on the time you get: With adult kids moving out and becoming parents, you cannot expect that they have the same amount of time with you as before. So instead of focusing on how much time you want to be with your kids and grandkids this coming holiday, you should think about the memories you can make with them even within a short period of time.
- Consider your family’s holiday tradition: Just like when you were a starting parent, your adult children also want to establish their holiday traditions as the heads of their families. Don’t expect them to have the same traditions as when they were little kids, considering that life partners and in-laws may also have ideas on the matter. So before you plan for the holidays, it’s important to understand your children’s own holiday traditions to avoid conflict of interest.
- Tell lesson-filled stories: If you have the opportunity to be with your grandchildren during the holidays, one of the best activities to do together would be telling stories. Yep, nothing beats the power of a good story to young children, especially if it’s an interesting one. You can tell traditional bedtime stories during the night or you can make your own story that consists of morals and wisdom you want to impart to them.
- Be more priceless with gifts: While it may be exciting to give a load of presents to your grandchildren, it may not be ideal to bombard them with such. Not only that it will promote materialism, but it may also become too much of a habit that children might get spoiled in the long run. So instead of solely focusing on giving presents, why not make holidays more special through fun and educative activities. In this way, you are fulfilling the true essence of Christmas and of being a good grandparent.
- Give your kids a break: Sometimes, the fast-approaching holidays can be overwhelming to parents since they usually are the ones responsible for the final planning, shopping, expenses, and more. Not only that, but they also have to consider what their children and in-laws want. This type of situation is the best time to be a good parent and grandparent. If you live just a few blocks away from your adult kids, you can offer help with the preparations like gift wrapping, designing, or cooking. You may also like to babysit children while the parents are busy. If you live far away, paying a visit is not a bad idea. It might even be a great opportunity to spend time with your grandchildren and son/daughter.
- Visit your children and grandchildren: You may notice that your children have fewer and shorter times visiting you ever since they had their own families. This is quite understandable given how hard it is to tend to children while at the same time earn for a living. If that is the case and you are eager to meet your grandchildren this coming holidays, why not book a ticket and go visit them? Of course, it’s important to tell them ahead of time before traveling so that they can have time to prepare for the day you will be arriving.
- Prepare games and activities for children: You don’t have to spend a lot of dollars in preparing activities for this coming holiday. Opt for simple but fun activities like board games, costume parties, storytelling, or gingerbread making. It may be priceless but it can make memorable experiences together.
- Think outside the box: If your intended plan for the holidays is not possible to happen, don’t feel down because there are still plenty of days in a year to make it happen. Though holidays mean being with the family, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make any other ordinary day special. For example, say that your children can’t visit you this Christmas but they have more free time during Thanksgiving. Why not grab that opportunity to plan or visit them? It’s just a matter of wise thinking and planning to find the perfect time to bond with your family/relatives.
- Don’t overdo it: The last but not least tip for seniors this coming holiday is not to overdo it. This means you should not pressure or overwhelm yourself too much with all the preparations and planning. You sure don’t want to end up unwell when the actual holidays arrive. After all the true essence of holidays is to make positive memories with children, grandchildren, and other relatives.
Preparing and planning for the holidays can be both exciting and overwhelming. However, as grandparents, our plans may not always be feasible considering the children’s availability and in-laws' other holiday traditions.