When the Nest Empties – Redefining the Season When Kids Grow Up
The first holidays of a new empty-nester can be quite challenging. There’s nothing quite as magical as the holidays when your children are home. When they are little, the holidays are filled with wonder and delight as you witness them through the eyes of a child. As they grow, it’s fun to engage in family traditions and experience every stage of childhood in a unique way. Before you know it, they are grown and you’re facing your first empty nest holidays.
Each time a child grows up, moves out, and moves into their new life, it directly affects yours. Not only are you absent a child, but you’re also beginning to see that life’s never going to be the same in a lot of different areas. This redefinition of life can feel overwhelming if you’ve wrapped your identity into being a parent.
Empty nest holidays have the potential to be magical if you embrace the positive benefits. Morphing with the changes and refreshing your holiday style can help you create a new and exciting experience. Sure, your kiddo’s might fly home and still want their favorite meals, but there are plenty of ways to infuse time honored traditions while exploring brand new ways to celebrate. Consider these redefined ways to celebrate-
Make the holiday negotiable- As families grow, they expand. Kids head to college, get married, or do whatever it is they do on their own. This can create challenges to celebrate a holiday on its specific day. Making the day negotiable helps. There’s nothing that says your Thanksgiving can’t be the fourth Saturday of November or that you celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve, eve. You can design whatever celebration your empty nest needs to accommodate the changes that come with children growing up.
Drop it like it’s hot- You can choose to drop a holiday and allow your kids to celebrate with new family or friends. It’s entirely possible to start your own holiday plans that don’t include kids at all. Take a cruise each year or buy a timeshare. Do something that sounds like fun and free the time up for your kids to celebrate their holiday however they choose.
Put the holidays on pause- If your kids are out of the home, not married, and have no children of their own, it’s a good time to put things on pause. Allow each holiday to be its own unique day without any preconceived expectations. When they marry, have children or are settled into a regular routine it’s a great time to re-establish a holiday celebration routine. In the meantime, enjoy holiday seasons where anything is possible.
Being an empty nester is a wonderful thing. It’s a great time to reinvent yourself and your traditions. Finding new and fun ways to celebrate makes perfect sense when your young adult kids are out finding their way. Get creative and make your empty nest holidays fun and unique.
3 Alternatives to Ways to Drop it like it’s hot Holiday Celebrations
Depending on where you live, there are typical ways to celebrate the holidays. Friends, family, and culture all influence how special days unfold and what foods and activities usually accompany them. Getting into the habit of celebrating the holidays a specific way can make it hard to break from tradition- though breaking free can actually be a valuable change.
You may be used to celebrating the holidays a very specific way and have never given any thought to trying something new. There are unlimited ways to experience the holidays that don’t include turkey dinners, presents under a tree, or winter wonderlands. As a matter of fact, it can be a ton of fun to try something entirely different for your holiday season. Here are three alternatives to traditional holiday celebrations that might be of interest to you and your family.
Alternative #1. Travel
Most people stay close to home during the holidays. They love the traditions of decorating, enjoying specific foods, and spending quality time with family. Though these are fun traditions, travel can be an amazing alternative.
Try traveling to a location that experiences the holidays in magical ways you can’t get where you live. If you live in a warm climate, head to the snow. If you live in the snow, head for the beach. If you live in America, try a European holiday.
Alternative #2. Friends over family
Some people spend their holidays with family and limit their activities with friends. Family is great, but there’s something wonderful about friendships. That’s why Friendsgiving has become so popular. Try spending a holiday with your friends doing a fun activity that you wouldn’t normally experience on a holiday.
Consider going skiing on Christmas and forgo presents for a VRBO and a lift ticket. Make memories with friends by having a potluck and heading to the movies for a blockbuster instead of cooking a traditional meal.
Alternative #3. Giving back to your community
There are plenty of people experiencing the holidays in hospitals, shelters, and other unexpected places. Consider spending the day in your community serving others who rarely get noticed.
Try volunteering at an animal shelter to walk animals or clean. Serve at a homeless shelter and support your community by donating your time and energy to help those less fortunate. You can get your whole family involved and make an impact on those you’re serving and yourselves.
If you’re looking to shake things up, why not try an alternative holiday celebration this year? Breaking away from the norm helps create memories and can leave a lasting impression for you and your whole family.