A vacation is an event one takes to relax and get away from the stresses and pressures of responsibility. A holiday is an event which by its very nature (specific in scope and deliverables, multi-faced, with many variables) is prone to cause stress. Over the past few years, because I have been taking vacation during holiday periods (specifically Thanksgiving/Christmas), I have usually come back from vacation in a worse physiological condition than when I began.
So now I made a choice. I decided that I would have to seperate vacations from holidays.
The good news in this is that now more of my time will be focused on fun and relaxing activities. And I will adjust my vacation schedule so that I now take one vacation in the first half of the year and the other vacation during the second half of the year, with annual home leave of 1 week to remain unchanged. I think using this approach will ensure that I don't go back to Sweden feeling mentally tired and exhausted. I sure hope so. Otherwise, the bad news will be that I will have no choice but to stop going home for the holidays and instead focus on vacation and my mental well-being.
As fantastic as Thanksgiving was (four generations sitting down together for a meal), I am not sure I can do holiday travel right now. I hope my solution above works. I really do.... :-/