It is almost as obligatory as turkey with all the trimmings, to have at least one blow out with a family member at Christmas. However, they are never any fun and always at a time that we are supposed to be enjoying and could be doing without the stress. Most arguments come from the same places of frustration, misaligned expectations or just sheer tiredness. Try the following to avoid the blow outs.
- Plan in advance and open up discussions early on how Christmas will happen, where it’s going to happen and who’s going to do what. Make sure there is equal input and that tasks are shared fairly. Most people groan about bringing up the festive season while we are still all seeing the sunscreen on the supermarket aisle, but is it worth it if it will avoid unnecessary conflict?
- When issues come up, find a time to sit and discuss them calmly. Do not allow them to simmer and then turn into a heated argument.
- Make compromises. If you are so adamant that something should happen your way, go away and sit with it. Is there a way that you can show flexibility that satisfies everyone?
- Remove yourself before you react. Remind yourself how grateful you are. Remember some people would do anything to be in your shoes.
- Have an “If in an Emergency Break Glass” plan. This could be a box of the most luxurious chocolates squirrelled away or something which demonstrates compassion and self-care for you. Reward yourself for not exploding, by going away where it’s just you and your secret prize!