Updated: Oct 28, 2019
Are you dreading Holiday Family dinners? Are you already playing over in your head the conversations you don’t want to have? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I am not 100% sure I am qualified to talk about this. There are certain members of my family that I dread even talking about over the holidays and I still struggle with a couple of the tips I am about to give if I am being transparent. HOWEVER, I have gotten some tips and tricks on how to be around my family and still enjoy the holiday season. For those of you that don’t know… I love me some Christmas. I. LOVE. ME. SOME. CHRISTMAS. It’s the most wonderful tiiiiimmeeee of the year.
Yet I know a lot of us deal with some really bad family experiences over the holidays. I want everyone to enjoy Christmas so this is some things that I am sharing so that you can survive family during the holidays and maybe, hopefully, enjoy your Thanksgiving and Christmas.
How To Survive Family During The Holidays
Accept that they are who they are. This is one that I am still learning. We all have some family dysfunction on one level or another. The key is to just realize the kind of people you’re dealing with and just accept that no matter how you feel, that is indeed who they are. There are certain members of my family that I used to spend at least a few days every year just frustrated about character traits that I can’t change. So now I just roll my eyes and shrug and prepare myself for what I know I am going to deal with because that’s who they are. No point in crying over spilled milk, right? (Am I using that expression correctly?)
Smile every time someone start the B.S. This may seems really weird, but I must admit that it’s somewhat comforting to just smile instead of getting angry or even giving a rebuttal. When my family does or says something to agitate my nerves, I smile and walk away.
BOUNDARIES. You are in control of what you allow yourself to take. You don’t have to put up with disrespect or people intentionally disregarding your feelings. You can tell them that certain things aren’t okay. (I say this, but trust me when I say I have yet to master it). Don’t risk your mental health for people that you spend time with due to blood relation.
Don’t go alone. Take a boyfriend or girlfriend or good friend with you. That way you’ll have someone you can whisper your irritated emotions to and can distract you from the nightmare that can be your family. A lot of times when you bring someone new around the family is so focused on trying to figure out who they are that they aren’t as obnoxiously getting under your skin.
Don’t hold on to the past. This is also a slightly difficult one for me, but forgiveness and letting go of the past is important for your health on many levels. The past is the past and you cannot do anything about it, but you can try to change the future. Forgive whatever grudges you have against your certain family members and allow yourself to give them a clean slate. Don’t necessarily open your heart up or anything, but open your mind up.
Don’t go. I am not sure if this is a popular opinion or not, but you aren’t required to spend your time around toxic people just because you’re related to them. You don’t have to spend positive happy hours around people who make you feel negative and drained. If you do go, pop in and pop out and spend your holiday season around people that aren’t evil. This isn’t always the answer but when all the previous things don’t work. This is the way to go.
Family is family, but family is not always blood. It is a matter of perspective. It is not a matter of DNA. So, enjoy your holiday season whether that means you have to change your mindset or change your setting. That is my basic and honest advice for surviving your family this holiday season!
What are some tips you may have for surviving your family during the holidays? Drop some ideas down below or share some of your favorite holiday traditions!