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Home for the Holidays

Many families find that the year-end holiday season is a fine opportunity for family get-togethers including folks you may not see much during the year. Some take the holiday gathering as a never-miss tradition, while others may be more flexible while making sure to spend some time together. Whatever your approach, the family getting together for an afternoon or several days provides a chance to do more than celebrate the holidays.

It is not just the getting together with people you may not spend a lot of time with during the course of the year but that the holidays are a time to do this without the pressures of work and school taking precedence. That downtime allows you to enjoy the holiday and the company of family and friends. It also provides an excellent opportunity to make sure that you are all on the same page with some important family matters.

The family matters are common to all of us, though the actual subjects may vary from year to year and family to family. There is understanding and possibly addressing the physical and mental health of the senior generation. A family should know and be able to discuss whether the members of the senior generation are doing well in terms of their physical, mental and emotional health, financial situation, living arrangements and day to day life. Their children should understand what is happening now and what they will do next as the seniors age further.

For all members of the family group, it may be very helpful to know, at least in general terms, how everyone is doing with regard to day to day quality of life, as well as major health, financial, educational and other issues. If someone needs help, the family probably should know. If things are not shared, then action may not be taken.

The holiday group is also a good place to share plans for the future – weddings and babies for some, new jobs or business start ups, passing on family history and memorabilia, gifts of money or tangible items from the senior generations to the younger, and more. Isn’t a family get together a good time for one to share his or her vision of the family and its future? Explaining a business succession plan or estate plan comes to mind. At bottom, the idea is to take advantage of the group being together to communicate and find common ground. Happy Holidays!

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