Christmas is an exciting time, but it can also be super stressful. Fortunately, it’s possible to thrive this Christmas and make some great memories! You can survive Christmas with your family by setting boundaries and focusing on fun. If you’re spending Christmas alone, attend holiday events, volunteer, and enjoy your favorite traditions. Finally, take good care of yourself.
Schedule time to see everyone if you’re part of a blended family. Being part of a blended family can make Christmas feel overwhelming, but it’s possible to spend time with everyone you love. Reach out to all of your family members to find out what they’re planning for the holidays. Then, make arrangements to attend as many holiday celebrations as possible.
For instance, you might have your kids for Christmas while your ex has your kids for Christmas Eve. Similarly, you could spend the weekend before Christmas with your dad’s family and Christmas Day with your mom’s family.
Talk to your spouse about possibly switching off on which family you spend Christmas Day with every year.
If everyone gets along, consider hosting a big Christmas celebration for all of your family members.
Set boundaries with family members who cause problems. Most families have drama that pops up around the holidays. However, you don’t have to let that ruin your Christmas. Create a set of expectations for family members you don’t get along with. Then, tell everyone these boundaries and the consequences for crossing them.
- For instance, tell a family member who gets drunk and yells, that booze isn’t allowed at Christmas dinner. Similarly, tell a relative who shows up late that you’ll start dinner without them if they aren’t on time.
Practice planned responses to annoying questions that always come up. Spending time with family often means answering questions that you wish were never asked. While this is frustrating, preparing a response might be the best way to handle it. Consider the types of questions you normally get, then practice responding to them.
- As an example, you might get asked if you’re dating anyone. You might practice saying, “Right now I’m focusing on my career and having fun with my friends.” Similarly, you might get asked if you’re having another baby. You might plan to respond, “Our family feels complete.”
Ask your family members to agree to only discuss neutral topics. Some topics are like kryptonite to holiday meals, so talk to your family members about creating a list of “safe” topics. Avoid topics that are controversial, like politics and religion. Instead, focus on pop culture, hobbies, and favorite holiday memories.
- For instance, you might all agree to avoid current events, politics, religion, dating, and family planning. Instead, you might discuss movies, vacations, and favorite memories together.
Watch a holiday movie to spend time together without fighting. Create a list of holiday favorites that each family member enjoys. Pop in a movie to create 90 minutes of calm during the holiday season. Then, sit back and relax.
- Most people will watch the classics, like A Christmas Story or Home Alone.
Honor lost loved ones if you’re dealing with grief. The holidays can be a difficult time if you’ve recently experienced a loss. Do something special to remember your loved one during this time. This could be a tradition that you shared with them or a way of honoring their memory. This may help you handle your grief during this sensitive time.
- For instance, let’s say you have a family tradition of looking at Christmas lights. If you lost your grandmother during the previous year, you might invite your family members to walk down her favorite streets for light displays.
- For a simple option, you might hang their stocking in a special spot and surround it with photos from past Christmases.
- If you’re religious, you might light a candle for them during the Christmas Eve services.