Holidays can be a fantastic time spent with family – but all that time with family can also put a strain on family relationships. Here are a few tips to help create a memorable holiday while reducing the family drama and maybe even repairing some tense relationships at the same time!

1) Reflect on Past Experiences: Look at what worked and what didn’t. If sleeping at Aunt Tina and Uncle Roy’s didn’t work last year because their dog Roofus keep barking and waking you up, find another place to stay for the holidays.

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2) Have a grateful attitude: When our friends go out of the way to do things for us, we are thankful. With family, it is easy to take these same things for granted!

3) Talk Things Out: It’s no fun to go home for the holidays just to have your cousin and her new boyfriend confront you. If you and your cousin are having issues, talk to them in private and resolve the issue.

4) Look for the Funny: Try to have a sense of humor. Sometimes you just have to smile, laugh and say “It is what it is”.

5) Exercise: Plan to workout while you are on holidays: Organize a family walk to the park or plan a sleigh ride. It’s a great stress buster for one and all.4

 

6) Invite new people: New friends can liven up a boring event and give your family something to focus on instead of just each other.

7) Organize a Memorable Family Event: Create a recipe book (for example). Ask your relatives to donate a recipe or two to put in the family cookbook. You can also do a family scrapbook, and have members of your family bring photos and mementos to add to your scrapbook.

8) Just Be Yourself: There are some of your family who support and love you no matter what. Relax and reconnect with them and your roots.4

9) Set Your Own Ground Rules: Don’t let yourself get into arguments. Sure your brother’s wife likes to start fights but don’t let them bait you into one. You are better than that.

10) Be Positive: When someone says something hurtful, ask yourself “Will this statement affect my entire life? Will it matter in a year from now?” Chances are, it’s won’t if you don’t let it!

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.