It’s December, which means that many of us are headed home for the holidays. As much as this season is amazing (Hallmark movies and the smell of pine trees? yes please), it also means an abundance of family time. This also means interaction with the people who know us best or the people who can drive us the up a wall. I’m not just talking about parents or siblings. I’m talking relatives, huge groups sitting around the dinner table who may or may not have years of history and the overwhelming possibility of stress in the happiest time of the year.
Holidays should be relaxing, which is why I put together an all-inclusive guide to surviving your crazy family this winter. This is the guide you never knew you needed. Follow it and start the new year relaxed, happy and drama-free.
1. STAY AWAY FROM HOT TOPICS
Just because you and your family are related by blood, doesn’t mean you have the same opinion on things like religion and politics. Like a first date, there is no good that will ever come from talking about controversial issues during family time. Keep things light if you can. Focus on the positives and divert a “hot” topic comes up. Why? You can avoid several heated situations this way.
2. HELP OUT THE HOSTESS
I’ve noticed that people tend to get stressed as they invite family into their homes. Is there a way you can help you the hostess? Can you skip the post-dinner game of Scrabble to help do the dishes? This could avoid a batch of stress or anger, plus you’ll probably get family brownie points.
3. PLAN AN ACTIVITY FOR YOUR FAMILY
If you and your family don’t have tons in common, plan a group activity. The holiday season is a great time to volunteer, go see movies and attend sports games. This can help bring everyone together.
4. STASH SOME SPIKED EGGNOG
If it helps you (it does for me, no judgment), treat yourself to a glass of wine in these tough situations. Whatever it is for you that will bring you a sense of happiness, do it. Maybe it’s baking, maybe it’s spiked eggnog, but treat yourself and let yourself find that sense of happiness while handling your large family.
5. TAKE TIME AWAY FROM YOUR FAMILY
Remove yourself from the situation if things get stressful or heated. Can you go read a book? Take a walk? Get out and about for a little to help your own sanity.
So that’s it! You have got the tools, now go survive this holiday season!
Are your parents coming to you this holiday season? Make sure to check out my guide to your parents visiting.