Holiday Hand Grenades - Kimberly Thompson

Holidays can be tricky, a little like handling a live grenade. Just about everybody has at least one family member that’s quite difficult, and you need to handle that little grenade with care. Do you have any of these delicate issues this season?

– Someone you have absolutely nothing in common with.
– Someone you can count on to be offensive.
– Someone you can count on to be offended.
– Someone who thinks they know everything.
– Someone who “one-ups” everyone else.
– Someone who argues over politics, religion, or child rearing.

A little preparation goes a long way toward keeping the peace and making the holidays enjoyable for all. These are my guidelines for getting through it and enjoying yourself to boot!

1. Set reasonable expectations. Expecting too much is a recipe for disappointment. This is a broad subject, so give some careful thought to how you would like things to be and then consider how things really are. For example, your own parents might not be the warm and fuzzy grandparents that you wish they were. Once you have faced it, you can make plans that work better for your family. In some cases, the reality is so bad that the best plan is not to attend a gathering at all.

2. Keep your family on a routine. Overtired littles are miserable and can make everybody else miserable. Bored kids and teens are worse. Try for a regular rhythm of activity and rest throughout the holiday. Up at the crack of dawn Christmas morning? Then plan for a long nap midday. Adults that are not involved in the preparation of dinner can take the kids somewhere to burn off energy in the afternoon. Go hard, then rest.

3. Make sure everyone has private space. I raised four kids, and can personally testify of the benefits of a private place to retreat to during big family gatherings. If your house is small, out-of-town relatives might do better staying at a hotel. If money is an obstacle, try sharing hosting duties with somebody else that lives locally. Same thing if you’re the visiting family – budgeting for your own hotel room can be a lifesaver. A night of private sleep will help everyone be in a good mood the next day. Your patience with the more offensive of your relatives may even be refreshed!

I send you my best wishes for a peaceful and joyous holiday season.

If you prefer video to the written word, go on over to the Mommy Mentor Facebook page, and view my Facebook Live recording on this very subject.