My sister looking up to me on Halloween
My sister looking up to me on Halloween

November is here. Halloween came and went in a hurricane of candy corn and Hocus Pocus. Now, we are faced with the impending joy of the holiday season (7 weeks until Christmas, y’all).


This post is for young adults and their parents who are wondering how to navigate the holiday season now that they live in separate spaces. I hope I can give you almostenough information to make the transition flawless.

I remember driving home for Thanksgiving from my freshman year at Ole Miss with butterflies in my stomach. I wondered; what does the holiday season mean now that I make my own rules? I am sure this thought crosses every newly liberated kid’s mind. Sidebar: I still sleep with my teddybear and enjoy Disney movies on the reg so I consider myself a “kid” (five years of legal adulthood be damned).

Decorating the tree in the early 2000's
Decorating the tree in the early 2000s

I am an admitted Christmas crazy. I have high standards for my Christmas. Now that Santa’s magic has faded from my adult mind and the first half of the Christmas season is spent all alone at school, it is a little harder to find the Christmas cheer that I have come to expect. How do you find/give the christmas spirit to those who are not immersed in the holiday spirit all season long (exams will really steal that joy from you)?


First, you have to hold onto traditions. Even if you are busy or too cool to bake with your mom, YOU HAVE TO DO IT. Moms and Dads, we secretly want you to force us to participate, trust me. It will be good for us.

Baking with my mother is a holiday must
Baking with my mother is a holiday must
Christmas Carols on the 25th
Christmas Carols on the 25th

Carols with my dad and cookies with my mom are two traditions that are automatically connected with spirit in my mind.


Next, simply embrace family time. It is really hard to navigate family time as a young adult-admittedly, I would prefer to stay at the kid’s table. Are you supposed to be seen and not heard like in the good-old-days or be a productive part of the adult conversations? Do you have a glass of wine in front of Grandma or is that still a no-no? What type of college stories are acceptable to share? Just have a secret glass of wine in the pantry and push on through (it gets easier, I promise).

We spend Christmas eve with my Mother's family
We spend Christmas Eve with my Mother’s family
Christmas at my Father's family's house
Christmas Day with my Father’s family

Finally, enjoy some “me time.” Parents, let your kids learn what the holidays mean now that they are not under your roof anymore. Reflect on what the holidays will be for you and create some of your own traditions. I love to go Black Friday shopping with my sister and build a gingerbread house with my love, Chris.

Rusty
Rusty

However you decide to enjoy the holidays and whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you keep love, peace and kindness in your heart. After all, that is what the whole season is about. If you have any tips about how to embrace Christmas as a young adult, leave them in the comments!

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