Holiday time can be stressful. At times we feel we are being pulled in all directions with work and family obligations. Everyone wants something whether it is time together, putting up decorations, planning meals and buying presents. Plus keeping up with the huge workload.
Then there is the family dynamics. Each parent wanting you to spend the holidays with them. Siblings not speaking to other. Someone is usually mad at someone in the family. Family members bringing up embarrassing moments. Family gossiping about each other. Some family members don’t want to compromise and refuse to compromise, demanding you spend the holidays at their house. The in-laws and out-laws not wanting to spend the holidays together, which would make life easier on you and your family if everyone would come to your house. You, your spouse and children dreading the holiday season because you and partner start fighting over what to do. Holding old grudges for years that never seem to heal but intensify as the years go on.
How do you keep everyone happy? You can’t, someone’s feelings will get hurt, you really can’t please everyone. Which makes the holidays unbearable for you and your partner.
What do you do?
Do you dread the holidays because of one or more of these situations above?
Always going to one side of the family and not the other does cause resentment and hurt all around, and eventually between you and your spouse.
Here are some alternatives:
- When you feel a family struggle coming on think about something that you love to do and how to make it happen. Focus on getting creative instead of the struggle.
- Have an open house holiday party from 10:00 am – 3:00pm and invite everyone to come anytime between those hours and have the open house on a day that is best for you. (Having the party in the middle of the day from 10:00 – 3:00 allows you to catch the morning and afternoon people. The open house guests can come at anytime and leave at anytime within the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm time frame. This keeps chaos down when family members don’t like each other, because they can leave and not feel pressured to stay. People don’t get so drunk due to the shorter timeframe and it being earlier in the day which avoids triggers and fights. The best thing is you don’t feel the pressure to please everyone and you can have fun).
Develop the party into ease by providing cookies and punch, and the guests are welcome to bring finger foods as well. If you feel creative have a fun activity or a game for your guests when they arrive.
- You and your spouse can spend the holidays apart with each ones own families and then share special holiday moments together on some other day or plan a romantic weekend getaway together.
The Take Away:
Communicating and compromising by learning to accept alternative solutions may help save your relationships with the immediately family. The benefits of doing one or more of these alternatives is to manage challenging family members and to make sure you have quality time with spouse/partner and your immediate family. The holidays can be a joyous and peaceful experience when you have solutions to the challenges you face during the holidays.
A Holiday Affirmation:
Please free to share your holiday alternatives and how you survived the holidays.
Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks for others to get inspired!
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