The holiday season is almost here. That wonderful time of year where families gather around the dinner table and enjoy each other’s company without a single argument.
Yeah, that made me chuckle too.
We all have that one relative, whether it’s a cousin, uncle, parent or grandparent that knows just what buttons to push. While the motive might be intentional or accidental, we all leave a little stressed out, angry and strongly considering getting “sick” around Christmas to avoid a repeat of what just happened.
Not every family is like the Cleavers and that’s OK! Families come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We’ve found some helpful tips to help you avoid the annual drama. If they don’t work, take the pie and run!
Focus on the positives. Let’s be realistic. The holidays tend to make everyone a little crazy. There will never be a perfect holiday or a perfect family. Try to create moments that are special to you. The less you stress about everyone else’s wants or expectations, the more you’re able to focus on the people that matter.
Plan your exit strategy in advance. There are a variety of reasons that some families stay apart the majority of the year. Even if you adore your parents, staying at their house after years on your own can try a relationship. There is nothing wrong with making sure you have a way out to help you keep your sanity. Whether it’s volunteering to go run an errand, take out the trash or needing to leave to “go let the dog out,” don’t forget to take care of yourself. Go take that breather and then explain to grandma one more time why you don’t have any kids yet.
Find some down time for yourself. Even though the holidays will most likely be hectic, find some quiet time for yourself so you can re-energize. Or, if you are having the in-laws at your house and cannot use an exit strategy, finding the quiet time for yourself can be a lifesaver. This "catch your breath" time can come at any point during the day. Let yourself clean up by yourself, do those few dishes that can't go in the dishwasher, go watch a movie with your kids or grandkids, or do anything else that will allow you the time to regroup and get your energy back.
Whatever your traditions may be, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday!