Dr. Kim Burns

Holidays were different this year. For the first time ever, we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with just the four of us. We were without the rituals and traditions that provide structure and set expectations for how we celebrate holidays as a family.

I was determined to maintain some of our holiday traditions and create new ones for this distinctive time in our lives. Like many teenagers, my sons spend a lot of time alone in their rooms playing video games (because what else is there to do when you are stuck at home with virus cases surging??). No one in my family likes surprises, including me, so I wanted to set the expectation of how we would come together as a family during the holidays.

I often talk with coaching clients about their unique combination of strengths and values, often referred to as superpowers. Superpowers are the qualities that are uniquely you. They come naturally. You don’t have to think about them. Luckily for my family, two of my superpowers are planning and organizing.

I created these schedules for Thanksgiving and Christmas, making it clear which activities were required of all four to us. I texted them to the family group chat and put a copy on the refrigerator. While certainly no one gushed their appreciation for my organizational skills, I know my younger son at least was appreciative knowing when his presence was required so he could schedule gaming time with his friends. And it set us up for a significant amount of time spent in the same room enjoying our togetherness, which I hope will be a fond memory from a year that really need some.

How did you leverage your superpowers during this very different holiday season? I would love to hear from you. 

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