Dear CDA Families,
As we gear up for the holidays, many people imagine the Thanksgiving and Christmas season to be “the most wonderful time of the year” where families gather and exchange gifts and have big meals.
However, for many of us who have experienced challenges and other hardships, it can be a very stressful time.
How do we manage the holidays when our focus is trying to overcome our challenges? What does self-care or a stress-free holiday look like and how can we use it to find a ray of hope this holiday season and forward?
Don’t allow financial pressure to overspend. Doing so will add unnecessary stress and financial hardship. Instead, make a budget for holiday spending, buy smaller gifts, create handmade gifts, or give of your time. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
The pandemic has changed the course of how we celebrate holidays.
Everyone has their personal ways to approach the safety protocols such as wearing masks or celebrating outdoors. It may be best to plan ahead and discuss your holiday plans with loved ones to avoid extra tension.
Remember to stay connected and surround your family with safe and supportive people that can provide strength and encouragement, especially during difficult times.
Don’t Over Commit
Scheduling too many activities during the holidays can put a strain on both you and your family.
Be realistic with your time and spending. What can you actually do and give? It’s okay to say “no,” or ask for help when you need it.
Don’t try to make up for an absent parent with extra gifts or toys. Remember, sometimes less is more and what your children mostly want is time, attention, and love.
Give Yourself a Break
Me time is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your children. Don’t ever feel bad or guilty about spending some alone time to recharge and be your best, especially after late nights celebrating the holidays.
Remember, ask for help with the kids and go to bed a little early or do something you enjoy.
Different Cultures and Holidays
Holidays are a fun time to learn and talk about the different cultures and holidays people celebrate and why.
I encourage you to learn and teach your children about other cultures and holidays so they understand them as well as your own.
Did you know that a recent study shows that practicing intentional gratitude has many benefits for children, including better physical and mental health, and better relationships with their families?
As a holiday dedicated to showing gratitude, Thanksgiving is a great time to talk to your children about what gratitude means and how to show it to others. Encourage your children to keep a gratitude journal and write three things or draw a picture of what they are grateful for each day.
The hardest part of tough times is not to lose hope. CDA understands that this year has been challenging in more ways than one and so we would like to remind our community that we are here to support you and your family any way we can.
As the holidays approach you may find the following resources helpful.
Thanksgiving meals and supplies for individuals and families in need this holiday season.
Contact 211 San Diego for information that can help individuals and families with holiday assistance programs.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program is a holiday program designed to assist families who are in crisis as a result of medical issues, unemployment, homelessness, medical issues or other difficult circumstances and who otherwise wouldn’t have the resources to celebrate Christmas.
The Food Bank provides nutritious food to individuals and families in need throughout San Diego County.
Feeding San Diego works with distribution partners to provide food and resources throughout the county.
Please check with the individual organizations for details regarding these events.
For a list of upcoming workshops and events, visit our Workshops page!
Family Resources Team
For individualized assistance with resources or referrals, please contact our Family Resources Team via the contact form on our workshops page: