Family holiday get-togethers are the stuff that comedy films are made of, but the reality can be overwhelming with plenty of stress and guilt. The worst is knowing that next year will probably be the exact same way.
So, here’s an idea. Why not try communicating with your family to set some boundaries. Yes, there will always be that one person who gets a little put off, but isn’t one person worth your sanity? Plus, family always gets over those hurt feelings so by next year, that one person may ‘joke’ about your boundaries, but you’ll be able to truly enjoy the holiday season along with your family.
This works just as well during the current pandemic as having a Zoom family get-together can be just as stressful.
Choosing what’s Best for your Family During the Holidays…Without Feeling guilty!
There can be a lot of pressure during the holidays to be, do, and have things that may or may not fit into your vision. The thing is, everyone has a unique idea of what merriment looks like and the best way to spend the holiday season. That’s great if it gels with your ideas, but it can feel like a burden if it doesn’t.
Ultimately, it’s important to choose what’s best for your family during the holidays and let go of any guilt along the way. It might feel uncomfortable but if you keep your focus positive, you can assert yourself without too much fall out.
Here’s how to keep your holiday spirit while keeping everyone happy…mostly.
Get confident on what’s best for your family-
One of the keys to choosing what’s best for your family without feeling guilty is knowing for certain what’s best. When you are clear on what you want and need, it’s easier to be confident about it. An example could be declining to travel for the holidays if you have a new baby, puppy, just moved, an illness or injury, or any situation that feels too overwhelming for travel. Knowing that it’s best for your family to stay put can help you make a clear decision, stick to it, and not feel guilty about it.
Communicate clearly and early-
Once you’ve decided what’s best for you this season, make sure key people know as early as possible. Waiting until the last minute can cause hard feelings and leave other people in the lurch. Letting people know what your plans are in a clear and concise way will help them adapt and make their own plans too.
Offer an explanation and let it go-
Communication is key. It might be important for you to clarify why you are choosing whatever it is for your family’s holiday. Make sure to explain with confidence and then let it go. Not everyone will understand your plan or endorse it, but they will respect it if you set healthy limits and refuse to negotiate.
Refuse to feel badly about what’s best for your family-
You can’t please all the people all the time. Some people are unable or unwilling to give others the grace and freedom to do what’s best for them. It’s ok if someone is upset with your decision as long as you have made things clear, concise, and are being mature with your communication. Ultimately, you can’t control other people’s reactions, you can only control your own.
If you need to reduce your stress this season by creating a holiday plan that’s perfect for your family but might ruffle some feathers, it’s important to put your family first and refuse to feel guilty. Healthy people will understand, and unhealthy people won’t. That’s ok. Doing what’s best for your family is nothing to be afraid of.
Tips for Creating Drama-Free Holidays
As much as people love the holidays, they don’t always love getting together with their extended family. There’s something about the holidays that brings families together whether or not it’s a good idea. Sadly, some people cause drama that can disrupt the holiday spirit. Strong personalities, addictions, and other issues can affect the harmony of a gathering and make it harder than it should be to have a good time.
Creating a drama-free holiday is important for the people who truly want to be together and enjoy quality family time. It might feel tough to confront difficult issues, but it can make a big difference in the quality of your holiday time.
Consider these tips for creating drama-free holidays everyone can enjoy.
Tip- Create a drama-free experience-
If addiction issues have the potential for ruin your holiday gathering, simply create a drug and alcohol-free event. Removing the temptations and making modifications to your gathering that support sobriety helps everyone. If someone you love struggles with making good choices, help make the choice easier by hosting a clean and sober event.
Tip- Consider your guests-
Trying to fit square pegs into round holes never works. Sometimes you’ve got to be honest about the family members and friends in your life. Some simply can’t play well with others. It may be in everyone’s best interest to keep certain people away from each other. It may also be important to consider what sort of function you’re having and whether or not it’s the best for your guest list. Depending on who is coming to your holiday gathering you may want to consider what activities you have, when you have it, and who is invited.
Tip- Be willing to be honest-
One of the biggest reasons families experience drama is the unwillingness to address the situation. People want to avoid conflict or hope people figure out the impact they make on other people. This generally doesn’t work. Being up front and being honest with people about how their behavior affects others can help them modify it or excuse themselves from the situation if they must. It can be really hard to confront negative behavior, but it can make the holiday better for the majority of the people.
Everyone wants a happy holiday season filled with friends and family but sometimes people make it difficult. Instead of ignoring their behavior, try one of these tips to create a drama free holiday that benefits everyone…even the ones with the problems.