How to Avoid a Dysfunctional Family Christmas
Would you consider your family Christmas celebration to be a recipe for dysfunctional behavior? Do you look at your holiday family gatherings and wonder why they seem nothing like those depicted on postcards?
Maybe your family Christmas get-togethers and parties are exactly like those in the movies, the ones where arguments and misunderstandings take over a holiday that’s supposed to be about peace and love. Or perhaps your dysfunctional family Christmas celebration is even worse than that.
Well this year, it doesn’t have to be. Your holiday can be beautiful and merry, if you just take the following steps as carefully as possible.
Do Your Best With the Family This Year
As you approach certain aspects of Christmas like picking gifts and choosing what to make for the family potluck, try to do your best and nothing more. Don’t worry about who might say what, concerning the present you gave them. Let go of any concern over whether or not your dish will be the hit of the party.
Make the effort you feel is appropriate for cooking, gift buying, dressing for a party, etc. and remember to be true to your good nature. What anyone else thinks shouldn’t trouble you in the slightest.
During the Holidays, Agree to Disagree
Christmas can seem like a dysfunctional holiday because there are way too many “cooks in the kitchen,” so to speak. There will always be a lot of opinions on different topics of conversation when a lot of (related) people get together for a holiday like Christmas.
As you gather with your family, though, speak your mind as you wish and allow others to speak theirs in turn. As long as everyone is being respectful towards each other, it might be best to sit through conversations that seem ridiculous or offers of unsolicited advice. If you feel you’ve had enough, you can always take the high road and remove yourself to the television.
Tis the Season to Forgive
Sometimes, family Christmas celebrations are dysfunctional because people who have had disagreements in the past come together again. Old issues and grievances resurface, and previous troubles end up on today’s agenda.
If you find yourself in the middle of an argument with someone, or at the end of an attack from someone, forgive them for their wrongdoing and simply walk away from the issue. Or maybe you need to forgive yourself for inappropriate actions taken or words spoken previously. If this is the case, then do it and move on.
Take Care of You
If everything around you is as dysfunctional as dysfunctional can get, and everything you’ve done to try to calm the situation isn’t working, then do what’s best for you. This could mean leaving the party if you have to. Or to a lesser extent, go sit in a corner and eat some great food by yourself, effectively taking a time out.
Sing some Christmas songs by the tree, or stand up for yourself with grace, if you have to. Do what you need to do to enjoy the holiday.
Remember the Spirit of the Season
When things are taking a turn for the worst at a Christmas get-together this year, always remember what the holiday truly is about. Beyond all of the presents, food, fancy clothes, timetables, decorations, and things that can cause controversy, Christmas is about peace and love.
It doesn’t really matter if you celebrate the holiday in a strict religious sense or simply take part in it because it’s fun, the essence and spirit of Christmas is joy. Remember that.
We are wishing you a wonderful holiday season and Christmas, and we hope that it will be everything you want it to be!