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How to Have Happier Holidays When You Can't Be Together

  • If this is your first holiday away from those you love, be sure to make definite plans to spend the occasion with nearby friends. Trying to ignore the day won't work.

  • If part of the family is far away, make tape-recordings, movies or videotapes of activities that would be meanigful to those who are absent.

  • If you're visiting relatives, consider staying in a motel if you can afford it, especially if space is tight. But don't do this without discussing it in advance.

  • If you're staying with relatives, try to arrange short outings that encourage one-to-one contact between family members. You don't have to do everything together.

  • If a long-distance trip, plus presents for everybody, is a bad strain on your budget, discuss exchanging inexpensive gifts. Don't overextend yourself by spending so much you resent it later.

  • Tell your distant relatives when and where they can reach you by phone. nothing is more dissapointing than having counted on making or receiving a holiday call and not being able to get through.