How to Make Plans Over Holiday Break

Holiday break is the perfect time of year for some much-needed down time. You can use this week to catch up on sleep, get lost in a good book, or do some Netflix binging. But while it’s totally understandable to spend your precious days off vegging out, you might start to get lonely hanging around the house all day.

If you’re looking for a change in routine, making plans with friends could be the way to go. Without the stress of classes, and chaotic after-school schedules, you and your friends may have an easier time than ever connecting, relaxing, and being yourselves. So how do you break a week-off rut, and get socializing? Try following these steps:

Coordinate Schedules: A lot of families use this time to take vacations, host relatives, and throw holiday parties. For that reason, it can be difficult to pin down a time that works for both you and your friend. Try sending a text, as early in the break as possible. See if you can work out a day and time, when you’re both obligation-free. Once you’ve got the scheduling worked out, be sure to let your parents know, so they don’t accidentally make conflicting plans.

Agree on an Activity: Try to pick an activity you will both enjoy. This might take compromise. Luckily, you have plenty of options to consider from ice skating, to movies, to an afternoon at the mall. Keep in mind, it’ll probably be cold, so outdoor activities may not be a good idea. If you can’t agree, suggest a laid-back afternoon at your house (just get permission from your parents first). As long as you’re both on board with the plan, you probably won’t have to deal with boredom, awkward tension, or bickering. You can simply relax, and enjoy your time together.

Follow Up: There’s a lot going on this time of year between holidays, parties, and family gatherings. Sometimes, things get forgotten in all the craziness. That’s why it’s a good idea to check in with your friend to confirm plans before showing up. Get in touch the day before, through text or social media, to make sure you’re still on. You don’t need to bombard your friend with texts, or send hourly reminders. That can make you seem clingy. One quick, friendly confirmation message should do the trick.

Go With the Flow: Keep in mind that plans sometimes change around the holidays. Families take last-minute trips, and relatives pop in from out of town. Unexpected changes to you/your friend’s schedule may affect plans. You may have less time to spend together than you originally thought, or you could have to cancel plans all together. While this can be disappointing, it’s important to keep your cool, and roll with the changes. If it’s your friend who has to change or cancel plans, you definitely don’t want to make him/her feel guilty. That can make things awkward. If you’re understanding and flexible, you should be able to reschedule for a better time.

Ask About their Holiday: If you’re meeting up after the holidays, ask how they enjoyed their celebrations! This can also be a great jumping off point for conversation. A lot of people have fun holiday stories, and you may have a few of your own. Make sure to listen when your friend is telling you about his/her holiday. Stay engaged, and they’ll likely give you the same respect when it’s your turn to talk.

If your friends have particularly busy holiday break schedules, it might not be possible to meet up. That’s okay. It’s nothing to feel bad about. You can use the low-key week to enjoy your family, and rest up for 2017. Keep in touch with your friends as much as you can. And if you aren’t able to make contact, don’t stress too much. It just means you’ll have plenty to talk about when you get back to school!

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Isa Marrs is the Founder and Executive Director of the Where I Can Be Me® social skills program. She is a board-certified speech-language pathologist who specializes in pragmatic language (social skills) disorders in children. Read More