Ah the Holidays. Time for decorations, shopping, festive nights and lots of yummy food. It’s also a time, unfortunately, for petty arguments, disagreements and bickering. Lest you think your family is the only one that has these problems think again; surveys show that one of the most stressful parts of the Holiday season is getting together with the family at one location for the big meal.
There are many that dread this time of year for this simple reason alone. Old wounds that haven’t healed, disagreements that started so far back nobody remembers when they actually started and loyalties to one family member or another that irk the ‘other’ can be a major cause of squabbling at Holiday time and really, who needs that?
This year, to avoid those unsettling and less-than-merry predicaments, it may be time to look at ways to avoid problems rather than just dread them and wait for them to start. For example, if Cousin Joe and Aunt Betty (names have been changed to protect the innocent) don’t quite see eye to eye maybe it would be better to invite them to visit on different days.
If you’re hosting the Holiday festivities (or at least one of them) you may want to send out a note to all invited asking that, for the sake of the holiday and the spirit it holds, everyone put their grudges and petty differences aside and just have a good time. It’s your party so don’t take "NO" for an answer.
The same goes for couples that are having difficulties that may be exacerbated by certain people. If you know that your folks and his or her folks don’t quite get along then don’t invite them to the same party. Either have 2 or don’t have a party and go to their respective houses for the big day.
If that won’t fly remember again that, if it’s your house, you can set down the rules for the day. Heck, you could even buy a whiteboard and write them down for all to see in festive colors and put it at the front door. In the 1980 the biggest stars of the day were asked to ‘leave their egos at the door’ when they got together to record “We are the World’ so surely Uncle Fred and your Dad can do the same thing.
Lastly if all else fails slip some ecstasy into the gravy and sit back while your whole family has a Christmas love-in. We’re kidding of course but admit it, just for a second you were thinking ”hey, that might work” weren’t you? No, drugging the family isn’t a good idea but asking and expecting everyone to be civil is. Christmas is a time for loving, not bickering. If you have to remind people of that go right ahead. Who knows, they may even thank you for it later.