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7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Family


The Holidays Are Coming!!! I am looking forward to heading to California this Thanksgiving to see family and friends. We usually have a great time, and there usually isn’t a lot of stress involved, but sometimes things come up that can add tension and stress to an otherwise great visit.

christmas1Let’s face it, we all want to have the “perfect” holiday with the family, but you need to be realistic. When large groups get together for an extended amount of time, there is going to be some conflicts and/or misunderstandings. I feel it would be unusual if something didn’t happen at least once. Be prepared and have a plan if something is really getting to you. Take a walk, make a phone call, take a relaxing bath, or maybe have another glass of wine. Do whatever works for you. Below are 7 tips to hopefully keep your family holiday adventure from turning into a holiday nightmare.

Keep a Positive Attitude and Sense of Humor

christmas-candlesHaving a positive outlook will help you tremendously. Instead of assuming that you’re going to have a rough time this holiday season, assume you’ll have the best holiday ever! You’ll enjoy the time you spend together much more, and most importantly: you’ll survive the holidays. Sometimes you just have to laugh and say, "It is what it is".

Keep Busy

CookingA good way to stay away from issues is keeping busy by offering to help with cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc. Maybe cooking isn’t your thing, but you can always help to clean up or keep an eye on the kids while others do. Obviously you don’t want to get under foot, but if you don’t offer to help, that might cause some tension.

 Don’t be Picky

thanksgiving-dinnerAgain everyone has an idea of what they want to see and do to make it a “Perfect Holiday” Unless there is something that you really need or want, don’t be too picky about food if something is done differently than you like, or done differently than you would. Allergies are an obvious exception, but at least attempt to compliment the cook and try a few bites so you aren’t rude.

Accept Differences

christmas2We are all different people with different ideas of how things should or shouldn’t be. For the sake of peace and harmony, just accept that you are all different and agree to disagree, at least for the week. Be open minded and you may find that you actually like someone’s way of doing something “differently”.

Play Games

gamesThere may be a few people who don’t like to play games, but for a majority of people, this is a great way to spend time, talk, and have some fun. My family loves games and this is always a great way to relax and enjoy time together. Just stay away from games like Monopoly or Risk. They can tend to bring out the aggressive side of people which can lead to some tension. Apples to Apples, Sorry, Taboo, and Catch Phrase are a few great family friendly games.

Get Out of the House

House-at-ChristmasSometimes being crowded all together in the same place for several days can get tiring. Why not take part of the day and go see some sights or visit a museum or theme park decorated for the holidays? You get the idea. Do something fun and you all won’t be climbing the walls or picking on each other.

Get A Room at a Local Hotel

HotelWhen all else fails, get a hotel. As much as it might be nice having the whole family together in one place, it might be too much togetherness. Sometimes getting a hotel gives the host and the guests a chance to breathe and regroup. It will make is less stressed and tense when everyone gets to together in the evenings, etc.


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