Tips to Avoid Family Drama Throughout the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for indulging in joyous celebration, tempting dishes, and enjoying the company of your loving family. This is the ideal, picture-perfect holiday sight, but most families live a far more hectic scene. If you’re sick and tired of dealing with holiday drama year after year, this is the perfect time to put a stop to your holiday fears.

Try these five tips to avoid unnecessary drama this holiday season:

1. The early bird gets the worm. Discuss your holiday plans well in advance. In doing so, you avoid being bombarded with pushy suggestions about what others would like to see you do during the holidays.

  • The safest time to approach your extended family with your desired holiday plans is in early fall. Any sooner and people are likely to forget your plans. Any later, and others will begin to approach you with their plans and ideas first.

2. Know your wants and needs. Are you tired of going to your mom’s house or your in-laws log cabin every Christmas? If so, speak up. Know your wants, know your needs, and be firm about your decision.

  • It’s perfectly within your rights to want to start your own holiday traditions. If your new tradition is to spend Christmas with just your spouse and children, so be it. Your parents have had their chance to create their memories, and now it’s your turn. Grab the opportunity!

3. Compromise. The holidays are about family. It’s important to get what you want during the holiday festivities, but be willing to compromise just a little during the holidays to satisfy the needs of everyone in the family.

  • An adequate compromise is to be open to ideas on centerpieces and side dishes. But if you’re being bullied into following someone else’s holiday traditions, stand your ground. Such a request isn’t a compromise; it’s an unfair demand.

4. The turkey debate. Many families debate about who gets to cook the turkey. But generally, the person who hosts the event in their home is responsible for cooking the turkey.

  • Speak with the hostess to ensure that you’re all on the same page. Ideally, one person will be in charge of baking the desserts. The hostess usually takes care of the turkey and décor, and the side dishes should be split up equally amongst willing family members.

5. Battle of the guest list. Another common family tiff is battling over the guest list. Luckily, this debate boasts a simple fix: the hostess is generally the only person that can invite guests. If the holiday is hosted at someone else’s house, it’s rude to impose by demanding that your hostess entertain guests that aren’t on her guest list.

  • If you’re the hostess and are receiving numerous requests to invite unwanted guests, simply say no. A simple, “this is an immediate family only event” will suffice. This response is short, inoffensive, and effective.

Believe it or not, most families have holiday drama. Whether it’s an unruly teenager, a demanding mother-in-law, or a rivaling sister that is always trying to outdo you, the power to put a stop to this unnecessary behavior is within your hands.

The ultimate combination to putting a halt to holiday drama is a big dose of speaking up, a pinch of compromise on the little things, and just a touch of strength to stand your ground. With these ingredients, you can create a family holiday celebration that’s remembered for all the right reasons.

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