The holidays are a time for food, festivities and family. It’s about hanging out with the people you love and just relaxing and having fun. But what if you kind of hate your family? Don’t feel bad, lots of people do. Spending time with relatives can be awkward and just plain painful. But to have a very merry Christmas, you’ve got to learn to keep the peace. That means no simmering pool of hatred, no sarcastic comments, and no drunken arguments with your parents about how they just don’t understand you. Does that sound impossible? Don’t worry, I’ve got some tips.
1. Relax. Seriously. Just breathe. Every time one of your relatives gives you a comment that’s just backhanded enough that you might cry if you think about it for too long, just laugh it off. Don’t dwell on any comment. If you feel anger bubbling up, just brush those feelings away. If you can feel tears brimming, calmly go to the bathroom and just take some deep breaths, then come right back and put on your happy face.
2. Remember it’s just a few days. Keep reminding yourself that you just have to push through these few days. If Britney Spears can make it through 2007, you can try really hard to be cheery for Christmas.
3. Make it into a game. Got a sibling? Play relative bingo. Gain points every time someone asks you about your love life or your future career plans. Drunk Aunt going on a racist rant? You win, yay! Making everything funny will make the whole situation easier.
4. Focus on the good stuff. No matter how annoying your parents are, you can still enjoy the food. Appreciate that.
5. Get some alone time. This is essential. Suddenly being back with your family 24/7, especially after experiencing the independence of college life, can cause serious stress as well as pushing you back into the mindset of your 16 year old self. Tell everyone you’re going for a walk or go somewhere private to read a book. Having some time to yourself will allow you to just chill out and get some space from your family.
Good luck everyone!
[Lead image via Kellie L. Folkerts/Shutterstock]