Tips for the Dealing With the Holiday Family Get Together


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The ideal family holiday dinner can often be out of reach, but that doesn’t mean we can survive the holiday.

Zoie Baker, Student Reporter

Christmas is an exciting time for many because it is a traditional holiday filled with several festive activities and experiences to share with your friends and family. However, during the holidays there are always seems to be some family drama, whether that’s a cousin that was mad because their kids did not get something from their list last year or a brother that is mad because there is always seems to be something going on with dad every year. And, in some cases, it is more stressful when bringing a significant other home for the holidays, just in time to witness the family’s greatest holiday showdown.

If that sounds like a familiar holiday situation, here are some tips to make it a little easier.

1. Explain the game plan.

– Prepare yourself and your partner to go over the plans for the holiday. It is important to ensure that you are on the same page as each other to ensure effective communication. To prepare for your family you could go over who will be there, and who is related to who. If you feel up to it give your partner some information on who gets along or doesn’t get along with who. Quite possible also the way your family works.

2. Avoiding Conflict.

– During the holidays because it is a family gathering and a holiday, we try our best to avoid conflict, specific topics that can lead to conflict, and even disagreements. By doing these things we hope to make our partners more comfortable and take a little of the stress off our own shoulders. It is common for us to point things out about our families to prepare our partners for what they might expect and to be able to read the room and understand if a family member is trying to cause a problem. A clever way to stay clear of these conflicts is to stay near and dear to the friends or family who can draw the positive out of the negative.

3. Prepare the Family.

– When you bring home a new body and if that person is dear to you, it is a promising idea to let your family know ahead of time that they will be having a guest outside the family. Of course, how much you share with the family is completely up to you; however, giving tiny details here and there of their name, your relationship status, and any miner details as such could reduce the awkwardness in the beginning. On the bright side, the more prepared your family is, the less detective they play on your boyfriend/girlfriend.

4. Create the moment

– Know how much preparing you do ahead of time there can still be moments where all the preparation is you did or not enough. You are sitting at the dinner table quietly and you can feel the tension rising, it creates an awkwardness that sometimes feels inescapable. If your partner and family are not connecting the way you thought or had hoped a key idea would be to create conversation. Find some common ground between the two of them and go from there. Towards the end it is okay to pull your partner into a separate room to communicate how they are feeling and what needs to happen to continue happy holiday.

5. Enjoying the Holidays

– When all is said and done it is important to be open-minded about the realities of the holidays. It is easy to get caught up in building up a situation for the perfect Christmas and getting caught up in the extremes. The holidays are about celebrating with friends and family and enjoying the time together. So do your best to sit back, take a deep breath, drink some eggnog, and focus on the positives.