Returning Home For the Holidays: Tips For Super Commuter Families

It’s that time of year.  The arrival of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas means time off from work for many employees. The holiday season may provide a solid block of time to be home, as much as 12 straight days if one were to take vacation from the weekend before Christmas through New Years Day.  At first glance that sounds amazing, but for super commuter families used to one parent living away from home due to their job, how can you make the transition to being together, the re-entry into the family home in other words, easier?  Below are three suggestions for maximizing your quality time together.

1.)   Prioritize. For many super commuter families, weekends are spent checking items off the “to do” list.  Use this extra free time for more than chores by having each family member pick one thing they would like to do or accomplish, ideally something that brings enjoyment.  It could be seeing a movie together, a date night for parents, or time for the commuter parent and the kids to do something they don’t normally have time for. This last option has the added benefit of allowing the primary caregiver their own “time off”.

2.)   Rest.  Pick one day where everyone has a few hours of downtime.  The holidays are busy with parties, shopping, and travel, so by scheduling rest, the entire family can recharge is whatever way works for them.  A nap, fitness class at the gym, or reading a book that has been sitting on the nightstand for weeks are a few examples.

3.)   Keep it simple.  If you have kids, they likely will be excited to have everyone reunited.  While ones instinct might be to plan a big outing or a lot of events, the reality is that most kids, with their busy school and activity schedules, want down time as much as parents.  My suggestion?  Make homemade pizzas together, go through photos that are sitting on your computer and reminisce about the year, and set some family goals for 2014.

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