Families can be a wonderful blessing, or they can be a major pain in the you-know-what during the holidays. To be honest, they can be both at the same time. The stress of the Christmas season, combined with the fact that we tend to see more of each other during the holidays than during the rest of the year, can bring any tension and arguments to a boiling point.
Plus, these days our families tend to get more complicated, and this complication carries extra stress into the holidays. Blended families these days can consist of multiple sets of in-laws, step-children, and half-siblings. With that comes a lot of complication to your already busy holiday schedule.
Here are some Tips for Dealing With Family Issues During The Holidays
There are some things you can do to simplify the stressful holiday season and more importantly make sure everyone involved gets to enjoy the holidays.
Be Patient And Kind
‘Tis the season to be patient and kind. Make this your motto and you’ll enjoy a much more peaceful and relaxed holiday season this year. Remind yourself of this when things get hectic and stressful around Christmas.
The simpler you try to keep things around the holidays, the easier it is to stay patient and kind. When we have too much on our plate, we get stressed out and irritable. Of course, you know this leads to a short temper that may cause you to do something you regret later.
Walk Away If You Need To
Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. If a situation is stressing you out, or spiraling out of control, walk away. Go take a breather and return when you can get back to being patient and kind. Sometimes just going into a different room for a few minutes or taking a short walk outside will do the trick.
At other times, you need to leave before you get into an argument with a family member, and that’s ok. There are times when you’re better off getting out of there. If it’s the only thing that will make it possible for you or the people you care about to enjoy their Christmas, you do what you have to do.
Find Common Ground
Start by trying to find some common ground, even with the most difficult of relatives. For example, if you share children with your ex, this would be giving the kids a nice Christmas. Focusing on the goal of lovely holidays for the kids and not on the painful relationships can help get through the holiday stress.
Finding common ground can be tough when you don’t get along with certain people you have to see over the holidays, but it will be well worth it and make the holiday season that much more beautiful and more peaceful for yourself and your loved ones.
Be Ready To Compromise
Complicated extended families involve a lot of people and with that come different commitments, traditions, and expectations. To make things work this Christmas, be prepared to compromise.
Sit down and talk early on in the season with everyone involved. Find out what’s most important to each family member and find compromises that work for everyone to incorporate in your family holiday planning. Don’t be afraid to make some new traditions as well.
Postpone Arguments When Possible
The holidays only come around once a year. Bite your tongue to avoid arguments and fights. You don’t have to give in, or bend over backward for family members you don’t get along with. Think of it more as postponing the argument until after the holidays.
Remember that your mental health is essential, and you don’t need to put up with ugliness any time of year. But you also don’t need to start a battle that will ruin the holidays for you.
Enjoy the time with your loved ones, even the ones who are a little more challenging to love than others.
Join the Working Mom List
Join the Working Mom collective and get support and tools to help you thrive! Subscribers get access to my library of resources and printables.
Stumped Mom says
This is all good advice. I find I have to make some sort of tough choice almost every holiday season, because of bigoted or abusive family members. I just tell immediate family members straight up which relations I won’t visit and I will say, “That place or person isn’t safe for me or for my child or for my partner.” As far as my daughter is concerned we have a few very specific traditions and I make sure I get those things done. Everything else is optional.
So glad to hear you’re putting these boundaries up against toxic relatives. And yes! Everything else is optional!
Krystal Miller says
I hate family drama at the holidays. I definitely try to walk away from conflict. We have some strong personalities in my extended family.
Oh yea! Definitely strong personalities here too on the in-laws side. I call them the outlaws LOL