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Shifting Roles for the Holidays

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As your children grow up and start families of their own, they may begin to take over holiday hosting duties. If you’re used to being in charge of holiday entertaining, it may not be easy to relinquish control but it’s necessary that you learn how—both for your peace of mind and the benefit of your family. Here are a few tips to make the transition run more smoothly.

Don’t expect anything to be “your” way.

Over the years you’ve probably developed certain traditions that you would like to see live on. But families are integrated groups so while you and yours may have a particular way of doing things, you have to accept that it’s not the ONLY way to do things. Your new hosts may want to change things up and create their own traditions or integrate some from their spouse’s family. Embrace the change and roll with it; don’t criticize.

Ask, don’t assume.

Never assume that the new host wants you to bring a certain dish, drink or dessert—even if you’re known for that particular item. Instead, ask ahead of time what they would like you to bring. Remember, the new host will have his or her own menu and you want your contribution to enhance that menu.

Relax, don’t supervise.

It’s very possible that the new holiday host will make some mistakes, will misjudge timing and serving sizes, and will have a couple of flops. This is a natural part of the transition. You can definitely let the person know that you’re there to help or give advice if it’s needed, but don’t watch for potential mistakes or make the new host feel like you’re just waiting for them to mess up. You can remind them of any dangerous food allergies any of your relatives have, since a mistake with that could be life-threatening, but beyond that let the new host spread their wings and enjoy the freedom to mess up. Sometimes, that’s where our most treasured holiday memories come from.

Holidays are often overly emotional and those emotions can be heightened when you’re forced to adjust to a change to your tradition. But ultimately, the holidays are about spending time with the people you love—not about making sure the mashed potatoes are made with Grandma’s recipe and the turkey is carved promptly at three!

#holidaytransitions #relax #embrace #familylove

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About Jessica Brinkman

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