The family gatherings. The shopping. The eating. Oh, the many parties. And, don’t forget the gift wrapping. It is that time of the year, the holiday season. It has officially started with the week of Thanksgiving and will continue until the new year makes a debut.

For many, having three major holidays within a month of each other means more time to rest and some much needed time with the family. For others, adding all of the extra activities to their already time-limited schedule means more stress. A few preplanning tips can help reduce the overburden feelings of the holiday and hopefully put the meaning back into spending time with family and friends.

Remaking Holiday Traditions

The Wall Street Journal ran an article on the day before Thanksgiving about how many families across the United States are working in the holiday meals, decorating, shopping, and gatherings into their busy work lives. So many people have been laid off or downsized from their jobs over the past two years, that many are taking on temporary seasonal jobs.

There are many people that have started their own businesses after having their jobs from bigger corporations permanently eliminated. Regardless, of the type of work people are doing this holiday season, it all seems to be taking so much time that the holidays have had to be remade or resized this year.


The article mentioned that some new entrepreneurs are so busy and strapped for time that they are holding family holiday gatherings at their new business location. The family member who traditionally holds the Thanksgiving or Christmas meals are more than willing to share the responsibility for the family celebrations with other family members because of a much-welcomed change in their employment status.

Those that have held onto their jobs through this economy are actually doing multiple job duties and wearing so many different hats that they are also experiencing serious time constraints this season.

Tips on Making the Season Merry

The WSJ offered the following tips on keeping or making the rest of the holiday season merry while working and keeping in touch with the family.

  • Talk with the family about the traditions that are valued the most by each and then try to set up an agreed upon schedule for each.
  • Break the holiday gatherings and festivities into smaller events.
  • Start the events early and spread them over the available days off in December.
  • Rent videos of favorite family performances such as The Nutcracker and set up a night to watch as a family versus trying to schedule a visit to a live performance.
  • Be persistent in setting aside at least 15 minutes each night to work on holiday tasks or activities such as gift wrapping together, putting together a puzzle, reading a holiday book, or doing holiday related crafts.

Getting a job, even a seasonal position, seems to be the focal point of this year’s holiday celebration. Think about it, employment and a paycheck can make anyone’s holiday a merry one.