Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton
The Christmas season is a fabulous time filled with family, friends and goodwill. Of course, it’s also a time of high expectations and the occasional conflict. Every family member is hoping for wonderful things to occur over the month, and they’re likely to get vocal if they don’t think things are turning out as perfectly as they envisioned. Even the most cheerful family isn’t likely to make it through the holiday season without an argument or two breaking out. Keeping tempers from flaring can be as easy as staying calm, putting yourself in the other persons shoes and knowing what to say in order to diffuse the situation. Read on for some easy tips on how to respond when you hear these words…
- “I Want to Sleep In on Christmas Morning!”
- “We Should Spend Christmas with My Family This Year!”
- “I Want Something Else for Dinner!”
- “We Can’t Afford That!”
“I Want to Sleep In on Christmas Morning!”
For little kids ( and even some adults), the alarm clock can’t ring early enough on Christmas morning. They’re so excited to see what presents may have been left under the tree by Santa that every second of waiting feels like an hour. Once the kids kit the teens years, they will most likely be less excited about getting up in the wee hours of the morning. If there are still young kids in the house, explain to your teens (and/or husband) that it’s important for the entire family to be involved in Christmas activities. If all of your kids have grown out of “Santa age,” you can easily push back your Christmas morning celebration to early afternoon. At one point, I had young, kids, teens and young adults to deal with Christmas morning so we set a rule that coffee must be in hand and the clock must read at lest 7:00 am!
“We Should Spend Christmas with My Family This Year!”
If your family spends every single holiday at your parents’ house, your significant other might decide that it’s time for a change. It’s important to reach a compromise so that they get to partake in their own Christmas traditions as well. You might alternate between family Christmas parties from year to year, or spend the morning with one family and the evening with the other. I am blessed that the Christmas routine has been the same for many years and my parents are more that happy to get together with everyone after the Christmas chaos. if you still can’t decide where to be when, then I suggest making your own Christmas schedule to create your own traditions and invite both families at the same time to celebrate on Boxing day.
“I Want Something Else for Dinner!”
We all have at least one picky eater in our family or someone who has allergies or food sensitivities. The foods that you eat for Christmas dinner can become just as much of a tradition as the dinner itself. So, you may not be too happy if and when a family member wants veggie casserole rather than turkey and potatoes. Instead of changing the menu completely, come to a compromise. Cook a smaller portion of whatever your family member wants along with your traditional Christmas fare. Let the whole family try it. If they like it, add it to the menu as part of your annual feast.
“We Can’t Afford That!”
A strained financial situation is one of the main causes of arguments among couples, and the holiday season means even more strain than usual. If you and your loved one are arguing over how much a holiday party might cost, work out a budget together and stick to it while you plan your party. If that person thinks you’re spending too much or too little on gifts for the kids, create a gift list with them and decide how much you’ll spend on each child. There are several options to consider which makes it fair to everyone involved. My youngest kiddos don’t understand the cost of things but what matters to them is that they open an equal amount of presents.
These are just four common Christmas-related disagreements that may pop up during the holiday season. Be prepared! Keeping these examples (and solutions) in mind will help you ensure the most peaceful Christmas possible.