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Posted on Dec 3, 2014 in Anger, Family, Holidays, Stress

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly: Surviving the Holidays with Family

The holiday season is within tinkling distance. Turkeys, stockings, trees, ornaments, lights and then the parties. Before you get a chance to catch your breath, its New Year’s Eve and all the hosting and entertaining must begin again. Surviving the holidays can feel like returning from battle for many a weary soul.

'Tis the season to be jolly

How can you hope to get through it in one piece – and dare you say – happy? It all comes down to a few smart tricks to managing your family and friends. Family – you love them, but let’s face it, too much of a good thing can be just as bad.

Split the responsibilities

If you’re part of a large family, the holidays can be a mammoth exercise in logistics. Rooms, meals and presents can turn into the stuff of nightmares. Be sure to divide up the work so no one takes on too much. Get relatives to take in a few out of town relatives each. Split up hosting meals.

Get professionals to help

If you can afford it, hire some extra help before the festive season. Get a cleaning agency to wipe down your house and leave it sparkling. You don’t want to be exhausted before anyone even gets there. If there are caterers who can bring in the meals or a good neighborhood restaurant you can take away from, use them.

Plan ahead

Elaborate Christmas or New Year meals can be a lot of work. If you can, keep it simple. If you believe it isn’t the holidays without a big meal and the big tree, then go ahead. Just remember to space out your work so you don’t leave too much to the end. Get the big jobs out of the way, so you have plenty of time to spend with family once they arrive.

Take some time out

Chalk in some time for yourself before the big weekend . Whether you just need me time at a spa or coffee with a close friend, make sure you get your break. It will help calm your nerves and get you ready for the onslaught.

Get some one on one time

Big family dos can be rather impersonal. A room full of raucous grown ups, wailing kids and a few tipsy relatives for good measure can be a bit much to handle. Try and schedule in time with the relatives you do want to spend time with. Write to them in advance so you can get out for a round at the local bar or a show at the theater together. Or just ask them to help you with making the eggnog in the kitchen so you have some quiet time to catch up.

With a little planning ahead, the holiday season can be a lot of fun. Even with a house full of relatives you meet just once a year.

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