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10 Tips to SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS!


In Episode 013 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott share their top 10 tips on surviving the holidays as a married couple.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich, and today we're going to talk about surviving the holiday season.

Nik:

Right at the beginning of every episode, we have to remind our listeners that we are not trained or licensed or professional counselors or therapists. We use Naked Proverbs as a platform for us to share our stories, our experience, and of course to give our advice. If you haven't already, make sure that you follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating on iTunes. And you know what, not just iTunes give us a five-star rating on whatever platform you're listening on.

Rich:

As always, we want to take a moment and say thank you to our listeners. Not only do we want to say thank you, but we truly appreciate you tuning in week after week. Now, I want to challenge you. I would love for you to share your favorite episode with one friend.

Nik:

I like that that's a good challenge. And if and when you do, send the episode to a friend, send us an email or tag us on social media so that we know that you've done it.

Rich:

And you just might win something. Who knows?

Nik:

Maybe?

Rich:

How do you survive the holidays as a married couple?

Nik:

Well, you know, I think our listeners are in luck today because we have come up with our top 10 tips to help all of you survive the holidays as a married couple.

Rich:

I think a lot of times as a married couple, you can forget that you have two families you're trying to please. Possibly. Possibly three.

Nik:

I don't agree with that.

Rich:

You have your family, as in our unit here at home. You have your parents. Then you have my parents. So, you have all these different entities that want your time during the holidays.

Nik:

That's beautiful. But. Did you catch the post that we posted on the Instagram I believe it was this week that basically said something along the lines of don't let your family mess up your family.

Rich:

That's a good post. And no, I didn't see it. I'm sorry.

Nik:

Well, if you're like my husband, and you're not following the Naked Proverbs on Instagram, we are @nakedproverbs. So, definitely follow us there. But seriously, don't let your family mess up your family. And the reason that I say that I disagree with you, when you said that you have all these various families that you're trying to please, in my mind, there's always been, and there always should be just one. And it is the very first one that you said, our family unit, you call us the four piece. That's the only family that matters.

Rich:

That is actually tip number one. decisions should be based on how they will impact your family. And I capitalized the word your because I'm talking about the unit that sleeps in the same house that wakes up and sees each other each day. So, you have to understand that the decisions you make may not be decisions that everyone agrees with. But as long as those decisions are based on how they're going to impact your immediate family, then it's a good decision no matter what.

Nik:

And I want to speak to the folks that actually have a very close unit to their parents and their cousins and their siblings and all of these other people. Because for me, I didn't necessarily have a struggle with breaking away from my family and being like, you know what? No, we're not coming for Christmas. No, we're not coming for Thanksgiving. No, we're not doing this. And it wasn't because we weren't close-close. It was just because I felt as if what I was doing at home was more important than breaking my bank and my neck to get to wherever they wanted me to be. So, if you're close to your family, I don't know how to really navigate that. Like if you really do have a really, really close relationship with your mom, but now you're married. What do you do?

Rich:

Because I do come from a pretty close-knit family, a family that we spent every holiday together growing up and when I say everyone, I mean, my grandparents, my siblings, my uncles, my aunts, my cousins. We all got together for the holidays, and that was every holiday, so Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Father's Day, I mean, you name it birthdays. And they still do that. So, for us, and initially, we tried to juggle going back home, over the holidays, and still trying to create our own traditions here. And I think that that initially created some stressors in our lives that didn't have to be there. So, I know that one of the things we tried to do initially was, well, we'll split holidays, we'll spend one holiday at home, and we'll spend one holiday, you know, back home with my family. In the end, even that didn't really work. Because tip number two is it's important to create your own holiday traditions. And you want to guard those with everything I say garden with your life. And so, for us, it became hard to do this balancing act because we couldn't create our own traditions. Because we weren't home to do that.

Nik:

The traditions are very important. And it's something that to this day, even with a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old, they look forward to it. For an example, we have a tradition in our home where we would put up all of our holiday Christmas decoration and decor the day after Thanksgiving. And it's been that way since the girls were little. And to this day, they look forward to that. And I remember one Thanksgiving they had spent the night at a friend's house or actually it was it was their cousin's house. They went to spend the night at their cousin's house. And on that Friday, you know, us that's a lot of work for us to pull trees from out of the basement, dragging them upstairs and lights and all of that stuff. So, we were just like, Oh, well, I guess they didn't want to do it. If they don't want to do it, then we ain't doing it. Those girls came home and were upset that all of the boxes and things were not laid out so that we can continue that holiday tradition. So, it's one thing to say, yes, we have a tradition, right. But if you're going to create a tradition and you want to create a tradition, make sure that you're doing it consistently. And also understand that this is just another time for your family to bond.

Rich:

Right. And because I mean, even as you started to mention that I thought about all the times that our kids were dancing and making shows and doing all these things, which are part of kind of our tradition, you know, and I can envision them being these little toddlers. They're like, ooh, we have a show for you guys. And we would sit there and watch, and we probably had on video somewhere. And those were opportunities, like you said, for us to grow together as a family. And like I said, if you don't take the time to make sure that those things happen, and you're just kind of sporadic with it or, eh, well this year, we are to go see mom and dad and next year we'll do it again. Then you're not really making a tradition and your kids or your spouse, it's hard to get on board, when it's constantly changing all the time.

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Nik:

So, tip number three while we're talking about traditions and spending time together and being around each other during the holidays is being nice to each other. The holidays are a stressful time. I shouldn't say they are, but they can be a stressful time for a lot of people. And it's easy for people to snap on those that are closest to them. So, I would caution you that if you feel like you are stressed or you're feeling an added layer of anxiety during this time, which a lot of people do, then take a moment for yourself so that you're not snapping on those that are closest to you. Because it is a fact that all of us will be much more mean to those that we love the most than we will to a perfect stranger.

Rich:

You know, you'd mentioned stressors, you know, there are a lot of things that are happening during the holiday season. You've got possible travel going on because you're going to see family or families coming to see you. You've got family members that are not your normal members of your immediate family. And then you have possibly money, you know, concerns because you're spending money that you normally wouldn't spend on big meals or presents or travel or whatever that is, and all those different factors. can become stressors. So, my tip number four, is to make sure that you're communicating. It's important to communicate with your spouse as well as your children on how you're going to handle those things. How are you going to handle, you know, your drunk uncle that you already know is going to show out at the Thanksgiving dinner? Or, how are you going to handle the budget for purchasing gifts or purchasing meals or whatever that looks like because like I said, you're spending money that you normally may not spend, and it's a lot larger sums. So, you should be communicating with your spouse on what is this going to look like? What is our budget look like? So, that we're not just blowing the budget. I remember our first Christmas. We went crazy. I mean, we had one child.

Nik:

One and she wasn't even one.

Rich:

She wasn't.

Nik:

She was eight months.

Rich:

And we probably had $2,000 worth of gifts.

Nik:

For one kid. For a toddler.

Rich:

And I think she played with like the paper roll or something. We spent all this money. I mean, I stayed up all night putting together gifts and wrapping gifts. And, yeah, it's because we didn't really communicate. We just got excited and got caught up in the moment. So, I think it's very important. Like I said, tip number four is you need to communicate with your spouse.

Nik:

Communication is definitely key, especially when it comes to money and the budget and what to get the kids and it's easy for people to get out of hand and especially if it's their first kid like, our first kid. She has always basically had these big Christmases but in a different way. Right. So, I would always advise people to remember the reason for the season. And no, it's not Jesus because we know that Jesus was not born on December 25. But the reason for the season and why Christmas and Thanksgiving is so big and so popular, and people do spend so much money is because this is a time of family and it's a time of friends. It's a time for people to get together and to create memories. So, remember that as you're going into this season, and understand that it's only a season and while we're getting together with our families and our friends and our pets and our loved ones, document the moments, we live in an age where social media is huge, and I'm not suggesting that you post every single little thing that you're doing, but even if you're just documenting it for your own personal purposes. Videos are awesome. We recorded a video of a family Christmas from 1999. And we watch that video almost every year to this day, and it's a great video and it was a big family gathering and I don't think that my family has gotten together like that since 1999. So, document the moments with video with photo and whether or not you share them on social media, that's up to you. But it is important to document those moments because those are memories that will never ever, ever happen again.

Rich:

Because you have boxes and boxes and boxes of photos that you've taken over the years.

Nik:

Oh, you're talking about me?

Rich:

Yes.

Nik:

Oh, yeah, I do.

Rich:

And it is always a joy, to go back and look at some of the different events that we've shared with our family over the holidays or to just reminisce and to remember that moment and to laugh and to cry. So, to me, it's very important that you document it you have to document.

Nik:

And I think that every family and y'all can correct me if I'm wrong, those of you that are listening, every family has a unofficial historian and person who's always taking pictures and that was me. It's still me, I'm always the person that snapping and taking pictures. And yes, I do have boxes and boxes. And when we moved over to digital in the 2000s sometimes, I have hard drives full of videos and photos of our families. Both of our families over the years, I have pictures of people together, that people wouldn't even believe that they were together in the same room.

Rich:

So, with the holidays, comes an extremely busy schedule. Because when you stop and think about it, some people say it starts Halloween, other say starts at Thanksgiving. But ultimately you have Thanksgiving or Halloween whichever one you want to say starts the holiday season, right? Then you have the next holiday is Christmas. But in between that you're gonna have office parties, school parties for your kids. If anybody has any birthdays that fall in there, you have some birthdays, possibly. You have different organizations you belong to that have Christmas parties or different get together gatherings, you've got New Year's Eve. I mean, there's so many different things that are going on, and the reality is, you all have your own schedule. Because what you're going to may not be the same events I'm going to or if my office is having a Christmas party and you don't know about it, it can become a stressor. If it's the last minute, oh, yeah, by the way, remember, we have this Christmas party and I expect you to be there kind of thing, right? So, my tip is to make sure that you use a shared calendar or do something so that you're able to communicate and show what items what things are going to be happening and so you can make sure that you're there and available for each other.

Nik:

When we say communicate, I think we should offer some clarity around that because it doesn't just mean verbal communication. There are so many ways to communicate during this time. And we're just going to call this a bonus tip because this isn't in my notes and it's not in your notes. It doesn't just mean verbal communication text messages a great way to communicate. The shared family calendar is an excellent way to communicate. Email is another way to communicate. There's so many ways to communicate without having to sit down and actually talk to each other. Although I do think you should sit down and talk to each other, at least every now and then.

Rich:

Because at the end of the day, no one wants to get blindsided with a, oh yeah, tonight we have a whatever.

Nik:

Mm hmm.

Rich:

You know, because if you don't have anything to wear, or if you thought you were getting off work and coming home to kick your feet up and watch your favorite show or whatever,

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

and now all of a sudden, oh, by the way, it already starts you off on kind of a bad path.

Nik:

Tip number eight is mine. And I love the number eight because it is a number of new beginnings. And one of the things that I am all the time for better for worse and it gets on other people's nerves,

Rich:

Mine. That's who she meant.

Nik:

is I'm positive. And going into this holiday season because it can be so stressful. I'm a person that doesn't stress very easily. And even I'm a little stressed this holiday season, but I'm still trying to be positive, and be focused on all of the good that comes with the holidays instead of the moment, right? Because that journey can get us so sidetracked when we're caught up in these moments of long lines at the store, or

Rich:

they don't have whatever item you went to the store for.

Nik:

Exactly.

Rich:

And you're fightin the crowds to find out it's not there.

Nik:

Exactly. So, it's easy to get caught up in that moment and to be pissed off and upset and biting everybody's head off. But if you'd be positive about it, right, just put a positive spin on this whole season.

Rich:

I got to go out and go to the store and get some exercise.

Nik:

That's a great positive thing to think about. See, I'm rubbing off on you, baby.

Rich:

No, that was sarcasm.

Nik:

Oh, Well, still be positive.

Rich:

And being positive, let's be positive that you need to make sure that you hear this number nine tip, make time for each other. It is so easy to get caught up in all the tasks that have to be completed. And all the different things you want to get done that you forget to make time for each other. And that doesn't mean you have to go stay at night at the Ritz Carlton. That could mean something as simple as hey, we're going to sit on the couch tonight and just relax. We're not going to talk about the holidays. We're not going to talk about all the things we have going on. We just sit here and hold each other. And that is very important because you need to make sure that even during the holidays, that you as a husband and wife are connecting.

Nik:

And our last and final tip. So, this would be Tip Number 10. Is to Don't be so hard on yourself. There is a lot of pressure for husbands and wives and children to perform and to act and to live up to some expectation during this holiday season. If you don't get your Christmas cards out for Christmas, guess what?

Rich:

New Year's.

Nik:

Make them some new year's card. We've done that before. If you don't get to take family pictures with your favorite family photographer, guess what? Everybody takes selfies. Take a selfie post it on Facebook or Instagram. It doesn't have to be this huge thing that makes you feel like you're a failure, or that you didn't get something done off of your checklist. Don't be so hard on yourself. It is okay to drop the ball and let that ball keep on rolling down the street until it's out of sight out of mind.

Rich:

I mean that ball could be anything. Reality is we have family coming into town tomorrow, like tomorrow.

Nik:

Oh my gosh. We're not ready.

Rich:

We're not ready. Like we were going. We were Buying towels and we were like, oh my God, we need to get sheets for this bed. And, you know, I mean, there's a long laundry list of things that needed to be done. Because if you didn't know, for the last three weeks leading up to the holiday, we've been having a renovation, like a major renovation being done in our home. So that disrupted our lives in itself. And now it's like, oh, my gosh,

Nik:

We have 14 people coming to our house.

Rich:

All our siblings are coming. I am so excited.

Nik:

Be positive. See, positivity!

Rich:

I'm just excited because it's my siblings. And our nieces and our nephew.

Nik:

Oh, yeah. So, I mean, it's going to be a blast. Yeah.

Rich:

But that's because we're taking our 10 tips and we're living by them. We're being positive. But we're also not being so hard on ourselves. Like if our siblings get here and there's no bacon. Well, oh, well, there's no bacon. I'll show you where the store is. But at the end of the day, you have to remember that because to me that may be the most important tip of all is don't be so hard on yourself. Just enjoy the moment.

Nik:

Thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to your podcasts on. And let us be one of the first few to say to you, Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays.

Rich:

Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays.

Nik:

Talk to y'all next week.

Rich:

Peace.

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