Will Your Holiday be Multi-Generational Magic or Mayhem?

Multi-Generational Magic or Mayhem?
Advice from Anna Liotta Generational Expert

The holidays are filled with 7 generations,  mixing and melding. We have the GI’s, Traditionalists, Boomers, Xers, Millennials, Gen Z (Globals) and, now enter Gen Alpha.

While everyone hopes for a holiday season full of wonderful memories and celebration, here are a few tips on how to avoid generational mayhem and make your holidays magic.

3 Holiday Generational Hotspots

  1. Extreme Expectations
  2. Technology Take-over
  3. Social Media Showdown

The mayhem can begin when we overlook how each generation creates and accomplishes moments of connection and magic. Watch this video to “experience” the difference.

(Spoiler alert – If you read on, without the video, you’ll miss a cool moment.)

  1. Extreme Expectations
    When Traditionalists and Boomers think of the perfect holiday gathering, somewhere in their Generational CODES™ dance Norman Rockwell images with a little dash of White Christmas.

    When it comes to engaging in holiday merriment,
    we can’t expect generational behaviors to suddenly transform.

    The extreme expectation – spending “quality time” around the proverbial fire, family meal or ceremonial event in perfect harmony. Unfortunately, when one’s home is packed with generations, a Rockwellian gathering may not always go as planned. What is a perfect expression of “time together” for Boomers and Traditionalists can look a little different for Millennials, and Xers.

    Tip: Be curious and open to observing how other generations express connection and appreciation of gathering.

  2. Technology Takeover?
    As we first watch this holiday experience, most observers think the Gen Z/Global boy is NOT participating in the face-to-face quality time. Instead, he appears to be missing it by being disengaged and isolated by technology. Many Gen Z/Globals are more comfortable expressing their feelings and impressions through digital and virtual modalities. A significant majority of Gen Z’s day (10.6 hours) is spent consuming online content. According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 45% of teens now say they are online “almost constantly”.

    When it comes to engaging in holiday merriment,
    we can’t expect generational behaviors to suddenly transform.

    As we saw above the Gen Z/Global boy expressed his holiday experience through his digital lens. We see how easy it is to impose our Generational CODE™ onto another generation and misread their intent.

    Tip: Explore the Generationally Savvy Mantra…”It’s not personal, It’s Generational.”

  3. Social Media Showdown
    Like it or not, part of the pressure of the holidays has always been about comparing ourselves to others. While we know the Facebook phenomenon of showing the best 1% of life can make for moments of FOMO, each generation has survived the comparison tyranny of iconic people and platforms.Courtesy of The Generational Institute © 2018

For Traditionalists and Boomers, the “Perfection Paradigm” is activated around trying to do better than your mother-in-law and the ladies at church. Gen Xers tried to keep up with Martha Stewart’s impossible standard. The need to be holiday perfect kicked up another notch for Millennials as Pinterest expanded to a comparison field beyond your geographic footprint to the entire world.

Tip: Ask yourself, “What Do Their Generational Stressors Look Like?” 

It’s important to note your holiday triggers and stressors and structure some self-care moments throughout the season. For you, it might include baking cookies, singing carols, or playing board games. But for another generation relieving holiday pressure might include playing a video game, or Snapchatting with a friend.

It can be tempting to try and force other generations to celebrate the holiday the right way; a.k.a. YOUR way. But the real generational holiday magic happens when we try to see the world from our loved ones Generational CODE™ and embrace it.

“It can be tempting to want to force other generations to celebrate
the holiday the “right” way. (a.k.a. “Your way.”)

But the real generational holiday magic happens when we try to see the world from our loved one Generational CODE™ and embrace it.

About Generational Expert Anna Liotta
Founder of The Generational Institute and author of the best-selling book Unlocking Generational Codes, Anna Liotta began studying generations first as the youngest of 19 children and later as a college faculty member, keynote speaker, and generational consultant. Based in Seattle, Anna is an expert in helping organizations create a generational savvy culture. Contact us to book Anna to speak at your event.

One Response

  1. I was very young when I was hit with a shoe for waking everyone by playing the piano and I couldn’t guess which people in this video are traditionalists, genXers, ect. I don’t think youngsters should have to flinch even from soft winter gloves. I hope I’m not being too judgemental.

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