The holidays are a time of joy and laughter, but they can also be a source of stress and tension among family members. Some folks may naturally not get along with one another, and others may lash out due to the pressure of the get-together. To preserve the happiness of the holidays, use these tips for reducing family fights.
Divide The Responsibilities
Putting together a holiday meal is a lot of work and financial expense, especially if you have a big family. Rather than leaving that up to one person, divide the responsibilities among several family members. Of course, these need to be people who can be trusted with the responsibilities. Otherwise, there will be stress from not having enough to drink, eat, serve food with, etc.
An easy way to split responsibilities among family members is to have the hosting family provide the main course (turkey, ham, etc.) and then have everyone else bring side dishes, drinks, and desserts. Establish which people will be bringing each food group so you do not end up with eight side dishes and only one dessert. If anyone wants to provide extra food beyond their requested dishes, they can do so on their own volition.
Avoid High-Stress Topics
If there is a certain topic that tends to create arguments year after year, try to eliminate that from the evening. Example: Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Joe have completely different political views. If everyone agrees to keep politics out of holiday conversations, you’re less likely to have an argument develop. If the topic still comes up during the night, try to distract from it with a new subject as quickly as possible.
Create A Fun-Filled Itinerary
It’s hard to argue when everyone is having fun. Plan some games to play as a family that will keep everyone laughing and entertained. There are tons of ideas online for easy games you don’t need any special tools for. You could agree to play Dirty Santa (White Elephant) instead of buying individual gifts for everyone. This will save you money and give you an actual game to play together.
Focus On The Positives
Something will most likely go wrong at some point in the night. That doesn’t mean the holiday event is a complete failure. Focus on the positive elements of the evening. Compliment family members who are normally treated poorly during the holidays. Thank everyone who helps with the preparations, even if they only help in a small way. Your positive attitude will spread to those around you, and you can cherish special moments with family and friends.