Throughout our lives, expectation of things to come is based upon past experiences. If, in the past you had set a glorious table and were the perfect host or hostess, it is very possible that friends and family will expect more of the same this year. They may not be aware that you are not looking toward to the holidays with a fun-and-games attitude. They are probably thinking that this year will be different, and some sadness will accompany it, but I don’t think they are aware of your anguish, especially if it’s been “awhile”.
I would like to suggest to you that, in fairness to yourself, you need to be honest about your feelings and, just as important, you need to communicate these feelings to those around you. I really don’t think that it is necessary for you to believe that because you set a tradition, and always made the turkey, and always had the family over, you need to feel obligated to do it again this year. Perhaps you would like to tell everyone that:
Remember to REST during the Holidays
Reasonable expectations and goals. Be realistic about what can and cannot be done. Get plenty of rest.
Exercise, even walking daily. Eat and drink in moderation. Enjoy free activities.
Simplify to relieve stress. Set a budget for time, social obligations and gifts. Simple gifts can bring happiness – give service coupons, spend time together, donate to charity, call or visit a friend.
Take time for yourself for relaxation and remembrance. Give time to others—volunteer. Spend time with caring, supportive people. Keep in mind that traditions can be changed.
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