How to have Happy Holidays

When we think about the holidays, we often imagine the picture of an ideal family gathering with great food and happy faces. Pop culture and social media enforce this image. But in reality, almost 50% of the families argue during Christmas.

If this sound familiar to you too, read along for the most common problems and solutions, so you can have harmonious and peaceful holidays this year!

Arguments

We’ve all been there. You might have a fun debate or an interesting discussion, but suddenly it turns into a massive argument. What can you do to overcome this?

Arguments start when people disagree on something and don’t want to change their ideas. Research has shown that it is very unlikely that people change their opinion on a fundamental topic, so often it’s hopeless to try and convince someone of your beliefs.

Instead, try to agree to disagree if you see an argument coming! Allow the other person to have their opinion, while also valuing your own. Even if your discussion partner is older or more respected, you are also entitled to having your ideas. Don’t confuse respecting someone with sharing their opinion, respect is allowing every party to have their own beliefs and valuing them equally. It is very possible to have different viewpoints and, at the same time, respect each other. 

Expectations

A second common problem during the holidays is expectations. Your family can expect you to show a certain behaviour or be at a certain point in your life. But the thing is that even though they want the best for you, their advice only says something about what they want in life and it doesn’t have to be right for you. Only you know what is good for you in this stage of your life. Other people’s expectations are just that: expectations. It’s not your responsibility to live up to them, just like you can’t force them to have other expectations that fit your personality. 

The only thing you can do is to accept yourself fully. Once you stop letting these expectations bother you, you’ll see that the other party will also be less persistent in trying to change your mind.

Stress

Many people simply get stressed during the holidays because they want it to be picture perfect. It seems like everyone has an amazing time celebrating Christmas and even worse since the invention of social media! So many people want to have perfect holidays with perfect food and they want everyone to be happy. Anything that can jeopardize their perfect image, will be perceived as a threat.

So what can you do to avoid holiday stress? First of all, try to relax! Not everything has to be perfect. Epic fails like burned food or wine stains on the table cloth can even lead to a funny story for next year.

If something does come up, remember that it’s not you against the other person. It’s you together against the problem. You are a team that wants to reach the same goal: a good time with family. Try to make agreements on who will be responsible for Christmas shopping, cooking, decorating, music and all the other things that come up. Communicate your wishes and try to agree on things!

Happy Holidays!

I hope that these tips will help you to have a good time these holidays. If you have more tips, place a reaction to this post so others can benefit from them too.

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