The holiday season can be a very enjoyable and memorable time of year for families all across the world. It’s a time for reconnecting with loved ones and bringing people together to celebrate. At least that is the plan and intention on most occasions. However, when the holiday spirit goes awry, disaster can strike quickly. The holidays can turn into a hotbed of arguments, fighting, and embarrassing moments, which will be forever etched in the minds of you and your children. Fortunately, this is completely preventable with a little bit of forethought. Here are some tips:
1. Be Proactive and Don’t Fight. When attempting to merge different personalities it is imperative to plan ahead. Do the best you can to come up with multiple plans for each scenario. This will help to prevent being in “close quarters” with others for extended periods of time. It is normal to feel like needing to change up the scenery a little bit. There is nothing wrong with leaving if this will prevent a major argument or release tension in the house. Healthy separation is a good thing and can promote healthier interactions in the future because the tension is gone and there is more to share.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Say ‘No.’ Only accept what you really want to do. One of the biggest mistakes people make around this time of year is agreeing to do something that is uncomfortable or unmanageable. If it is not within your budget, or the kids would be bored, don’t do it. The goal is not to impress anyone or cater to other people’s feelings. It is simply to enjoy and create lasting memories for years to come. You and your kids always come first especially around this time of year.
3. Remember the Holiday Spirit. Spending time with family and friends around this time of year is supposed to be filled with laughter, good food, and love. And for many there is a significant spiritual and religious context as well. Most importantly, don’t forget how wonderstruck and enthusiastic children are during this season. They need you to make an effort to get along with the in-laws even when you long-standing disagreements or fundamental differences. If you haven’t solved it by now let it go. It can wait or maybe it doesn’t even need to be addressed, period. “Kill ’em with kindness” if you have to do something. Breathe and refocus your energy and attention on the children and your immediate family.
At the end of the day, make this Holiday Season the best one to date and there will be no regrets or mishaps to look back on years later. It will indeed be a memorable time for you and yours! Happy Holidays!