Like my hat? Then you’ll LOVE my Tips For Surviving The Holidays With Extended Family!
Not everyone has the perfect family or even memories of that perfect holiday dinner. I’m lucky enough to NOT have anything too crazy to deal with in my family but things still come up that aren’t expected and I need to learn to deal with it. I’ve been seeing friends and acquaintances dealing with it already. This is why I’ve been thinking a lot about family gatherings and the holidays and decide to get my game plan together before I needed to use it. So here it is, my tips on Surviving The Holidays With Family!
Your extended family is visiting for the holidays, or even
worse, your ______ are coming! You’ve vowed to get along with the family, because it’s the holiday season and all. You can do just that by following these tips.
Be realistic. Your expectations might be set a liiitttle too high if you think you’re going to sit with the in-laws around a camp fire and sing Kumbaya. Talk to your spouse about what you expect, and he or she can bring you back to reality quickly by reminding you of how
terrible awesome last year was.
Give compliments. The key here is to give genuine compliments. Nobody likes a brown noser, but everyone loves to hear about how great they’re looking. Be careful about giving too specific of compliments – if you tell your mother-in-law that she looks like she’s lost weight but she’s actually gained it, she might think you’re lying and get defensive. “You look great!” is always a safe bet.
Don’t be picky. Being picky in any situation can cause trouble, but this is especially true during the holidays when tensions are already high. If you can, try to eat what you’re served. Allergies are an obvious exception, but at least attempt to compliment the cook and try a few bites so you aren’t rude.
Stay busy. If you’re hosting, it won’t be difficult to stay busy. However, if you’re visiting, volunteer to help out in the kitchen. If that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, let those in the kitchen know that you’re happy to help clean up when they’re ready for your assistance. Obviously you don’t want to get under foot, but if you don’t offer to help, that might cause some tension.
Play a game. Everyone loves games, right? Wait, don’t answer that question. If you have very difficult family members, they might not. However, most of those in attendance will be happy to play a game. Try games like Apples to Apples, Trivial Pursuit, Mad Gab, or Adult HedBanz. They’re all sure to be a good time!
Accept your differences. Realize that you might not feel comfortable being in the room with some of your extended family members for, well, extended periods of time. That’s fine! Try not to be obvious about it when you’re escaping, but hiding in the bathroom for a few minutes (or stepping outside for some fresh air) is perfectly acceptable.
Have a positive outlook. As with all things, having 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! Your in-laws are going to be so happy to see you, you’ll enjoy the time you spend together, and most importantly: you’ll survive the holidays.
Count down. If all else fails, start the count down. When I’m in an uncomfortable situation, I start thinking about how many hours, minutes, seconds it is until I can leave. If it’s a short amount of time, this can help tremendously. If you have days or weeks to spend with your extended family, might I suggest something more instead of just a count down.
How do you survive the holidays?
I can’t wait to hear how you all survived yours!