Harvest holidays have a lot in common, regardless of their cultural origins. Thanksgiving is a prime example, with its emphasis on bounty, feasting, gratitude, and togetherness – wonderful things. But amid current safety concerns regarding social gatherings, many people are adapting their holiday traditions. There may be other reasons to do so as well.
For some, holiday gatherings include less-than-joyful aspects such as obligation, stress, exhaustion, or even materialism. A time when people are reconsidering their social habits seems like a good moment to rethink what truly creates holiday happiness for each personality type. Are you ready to try something different? It’s okay to put emphasis on self-care as well as tradition – and on emotional as well as physical health.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to feast healthily! (The spiced cider must flow.) But let’s consider some ideas for how you might turn over a new leaf this harvest holiday season, depending on your personality type. We’ll specifically look through a lens of the Mind (Introversion and Extraversion) and Nature (Thinking and Feeling) traits, because of how they relate to your social drive and relationships.
Introverted, Thinking Personality Types
If you’re among these personality types, then relatively speaking, you’re on the least social end of the personality spectrum. More than most, you often find mandated socializing to be a bother, even though you love your friends and family like anyone might. You may enjoy holiday gatherings to some degree, but you’re probably relieved when they’re over.
This year – when gatherings are in question – it’s reasonable to simply skip social events that you truly don’t want to attend. Other people will have their opinions and may try to sway you, but if there were ever a time to feel okay with being less social, this is it. If you don’t feel like taking on holiday stress, you don’t have to just because the calendar says there’s a thing that must be observed, and others expect it.
That said, you could consider making a brief appearance wherever you’re invited. You can pay your respects and show love to friends and family without necessarily participating in the whole event. Will that be going against the social grain? Probably. But it’s not the first time you’ve done that, is it? Having the kind of holiday that makes you happiest is a good enough reason to raise some eyebrows.
Introverted, Feeling Personality Types
If you’re one of these personalities, you probably value your social relationships deeply yet get worn out easily by extended socializing. And when times are stressful (as, for many, they currently are) planning or joining in holiday events might feel a bit overwhelming. You want to share that sense of connection with the people you love, but wouldn’t it be nice if it weren’t so exhausting?
Well, it doesn’t have to be, if you’re willing to prioritize care for your own needs. (Easier said than done, right?) What about having a small group this year and a simpler plan? It might serve your health in more ways than one, and “just a few people” seems like a socially responsible standard, at the moment. Consider reducing the scale of your holiday while retaining the core elements that bring the most joy. It’s okay not to see everyone.
But paring down your holiday doesn’t mean abandoning anyone you care about, even if they’re not on the invite list. Video chats, whether part of or separate from your main event, can let people know you’re thinking about them during the holidays. It’s a great time to uncomplicate things in a way that keeps you less stressed, even if that also means being less social than normal.
Extraverted, Thinking Personality Types
These personality types like action, and if you’re one of them, parties probably don’t tire you out much. Yet warm social gatherings aren’t the only way you like to have fun. In fact, too much sitting around the house just talking with people might leave you feeling bored. You’re social, but social bonding probably isn’t your primary focus in life – sometimes it might even feel tedious.
But you can do something exciting to make your seasonal holiday more like a vacation holiday escape. Go camping. Rent a speedboat. It’s okay to feed your personal sense of adventure to celebrate a holiday, if it will bring you more joy than watching TV with relatives while waiting for dinner. Find another way to show them you love them, and then go have fun.
Of course, choosing to do something exciting doesn’t require being alone – you can always invite family to join, if you want to. Chances are your fun is more about following your interests than being isolated, and you might welcome like-minded souls. Maybe those close to you will enjoy shaking up tradition this year, too, if you blaze the way for them.
Extraverted, Feeling Personality Types
These personality types love to draw others together. If you’re one of them, investing time and energy into major holiday gatherings probably feeds your sense of joy. But chances are you usually bend over backward to keep everyone else’s needs and preferences in mind. Your fun is validated, in part, by everyone having fun along with you.
But a time when gatherings are limited is a great opportunity to have the holiday you want, without taking care of everyone else. If that means a potluck so you don’t have to cook or eating take-out food around a bonfire, so be it. (S’mores at Thanksgiving might be a stroke of genius.) It’s okay to try something different or focus on your personal favorites instead of doing all the things to cater to others.
Your love for those in your life will shine through no matter what kind of holiday you have. You can invite them into your plan and cheerfully allow them the freedom to do their own thing. (Besides, the I_T_ personality types might be staying home, the I_F_s having a quiet dinner with their partner and pets, and the E_T_s off water-skiing or whatever.) The point is, you can be the social glue without being responsible for everyone’s fun.
Making the Best of the Holiday
For some of us, preserving traditions can provide a comforting sense of continuity in stressful times. And yet for others, the demands of a holiday tradition can become a source of stress. These challenging days of social restrictions are an opportunity to check in with ourselves and reconsider what we’re going to do this holiday. (I’m going to eat chocolate cake in the bathtub with my rubber ducky, FWIW.)
Dare to make the best of things, no matter what that looks like for you. There are a lot of moving parts, including your sense of safety and responsibility, the expectations of others, your feelings and needs, and even your finances. But if the meaning of this season is gratefulness and joyfulness, maybe this can be the year that you do whatever best allows you to feel those things.
What’s your harvest holiday plan this year, and how does it differ from normal, if at all? Let us know in the comments below!
- Learn why people are grateful for you, based on your personality type.
- A holiday can be a great time to practice an attitude of gratitude – though different personality types might approach it in different ways.
- Want even more interesting reading? Check out our Premium Profiles for every personality type to understand yourself – or someone you love – a whole lot better.