Focus on the positives during holiday time and see how that can affect peace in the family. Why not start practicing some of the following tips right now, in preparation for what’s to come? Then scroll down to the bottom righthand corner of this post and let us know what works for you.
Consider what you love about your family and let them know how grateful you are they’re a part of your life. Be sure to point out their positive qualities and personal strengths rather than focusing on the negatives.
You don’t have to be all things to all people all the time. If your favorite aunt doesn’t get along with her ex-husband’s new wife, don’t invite them to dinner. It will make it easier for everyone to have an open mind and an accepting heart.
Put aside differences and avoid hot button issues. Sibling rivalry and unfinished family business are bound to surface. Despite how hard it may be, go for the higher ground and walk away from misunderstandings. But agree to finish the conversation at a later time.
Conversely, with a relationship that matters to you, bury the hatchet. If in the past you have stifled your feelings and then blown up later, don’t let your emotions fester. Admit the part you play in the conflict, privately, and deal with it.
If there is tension in the room, take the focus away from the specific toward the abstract. For example, talk about the value of apologizing for some wrongdoing. Then encourage others to discuss how this kind of quality has enhanced their other personal relationships.
Practice letting go of childhood pain and longings when family members are not with you in person but in your memories. And realize that having feelings of gratitude and forgiveness are a gift you give yourself.
You can click on the title of this post to read an article that has more tips about how the gift of connection can reduce holiday stress.