Sitting around a table for too long with members of your family you haven’t seen all year…we’ve all been there.
Here are 5 simple tips to help you get along better with these people who somehow share your gene pool.
Don’t Leave Things Unsaid
Do you actually have a reason why you might feel uncomfortable around a certain someone this year? Don’t struggle through the season filled with passive aggressive comments–make it a point to sort it out, or at least let them know how you feel before you end up drinking eggnog next to each other in a room so full of tension you both might explode. You never know, maybe it was all just a big misunderstanding. If not, at least you’ll be able to let it go now that you’ve said your piece.
Be Clear With Your Expectations
Not going to be able to stay for 6 hours on Christmas Eve? Let Grandma know ahead of time so that you don’t have to shovel your way through a guilt-trip on the way out. Explain that your children still have a bedtime, or that you just can’t devote so much of your night to one side of the family, or whatever the reason is. Keep it short and sweet and don’t act like they can convince you otherwise–it’s a non-negotiable.
Share Your Schedule
Do you have 3 different households you need to take the new baby to on Christmas Day? Sort out the details and send your schedule out ahead of time. Any questions about why you’re leaving early? Point to the schedule and explain that you have an engagement elsewhere that you’ll need to head out to. Sometimes, there is more jealousy than snow covering the front lawn at your mother-in-law’s, so do what you can to make it easy on yourself.
Always Assume Good Intentions
All jokes aside, the members of your family just want to spend time with you during the holiday. They want to reminisce about the old days and use your children to fill their hearts with Christmas joy. No one wants to stress you out or cause drama, but sometimes the stress of trying to make everything perfect can come out all wrong. Every time someone rubs you the wrong way, just remember that everything is being done with the best of intentions, even if you can’t quite see it.
Focus On What You Can Do
Instead of glaring at Aunt Molly after too many spiked hot chocolates or rolling your eyes at Cousin Steve’s lame jokes, remember that you are the only one with the power to change your mood. Focus on bringing the holiday cheer, spreading your generosity, and skipping out of there faster than you moved the Elf on the Shelf the other morning. If you can try to get along with everyone, they will notice and maybe they’ll try too.
Set your boundaries and stick to them–you’re sure to have a holiday filled with cheer. 🙂
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