The holidays are fast approaching and most of us will head out to see family and friends that we haven’t seen all year. The holidays should be a happy time of year, but for many of us, we will meet the family gatherings with some trepidation. You know what I mean? Old family issues will inherently pop-up and drama will come seeping out. But let’s make this holiday drama free and a joyous time for all. Here are five of my best kept secrets to having a loving holiday and leaving the drama behind.
1. Work to resolve issues before the dinner. So you haven’t spoken to your brother all year because of something he did or maybe you are the culprit. It really doesn’t matter who is the blame. Call him up before the holiday dinner and make amends. You will feel better and sharing dinner will not be so awkward.
2. Just say no. Yes you heard me correctly. Some things just shouldn’t be entertained. Family dysfunction stemming from forms of abuse is not going to be corrected by sitting at a holiday dinner. In fact, we often validate the offender by making them feel justified for their past abusive behavior. So by all means, take care of your heart and say no.
3. Let the guilt go. You simply are not going to get along with everyone. Your mother-in-law may never truly accept you and you may not agree with your know-it-all sister. This season let it go and just accept folks for who they are and move on.
4. Extend Gratitude. Remember what the season is all about. Extend gratitude to those who have encouraged you along your path. Allow your children to also send out cards or words of gratitude to their teachers, mentors and coaches. Having a heart of thankfulness will allow everyone to feel good about the holiday season.
5. Give to others. This holiday make giving a family affair. It is hard to stay upset or in a bad mood when you are giving to others. So decide as a family to donate your time at a local shelter or church. Whether you donate clothes, serve the homeless or volunteer your time at a domestic violence shelter, giving will give you a new perspective on what you do have.
Make this holiday the one that you remember for being joyful and drama free.
BMWK, How will you avoid drama and embrace joy this holiday season?