Christmas is T minus 48 hours away. Many of us have put on our Out of Office, wrapped our presents, and are preparing for the annual family get together. But when the festive glow fades and you are all cooped up in a living room, a family Christmas dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. We have had plenty of experience dealing with family drama at Christmas so we rounded up some great advice from Social Circle HQ. So here is our guide to surviving your family at Christmas.
Accept them for who they are.
Uncle Nigel may voice a few right wing opinions. Grandma may ask if you have tried ‘batting for the other side’ because you have been single too long. Your brothers may get into a burping competition and Mum’s screams of frustration from the kitchen may be heard from miles around. It is annoying being expected to help clean the kitchen whilst the teens are snapchatting their friends. Just breathe. Offer to help with cooking or even take them out if forty years of mum moaning that ‘she does everything’ is wearing thin.
Whilst we are not saying you should put up with toxic behaviour, it is far easier, for one day, to accept them for who they are and try and see the humour in the situation – any awkward or embarrassing moments will make for a good belly laugh when you meet your friends for post-Christmas drinks. Believe us when we say we all have stories to tell.
Invite a friend (and use them as a human shield).
Really this one pays off all round. One of our hosts is often kidnapped by friends who insist she shouldn’t be alone at Christmas. Rather than feeling guilty, she quickly realised she was saving her friends sanity too. Your family suddenly adopt their best behaviour and lavish attention on your friend – which is always appreciated – and you have a wingman/woman to turn to when everything gets a bit much.
Remember that whilst your family may be a deep source of shame for you – your friend loves you for who you are – meaning that they are more likely to help you see the funny side of Aunt Magda’s quirks or point out that your cousins boasts about his promotion or new car may mean he is lacking in other areas. *snigger*
Put yourself first.
The ultimate survival tip is to put your own well-being above any traditions or guilt trips you may have been subjected to. If your family relationships are really strained and toxic then you can make other plans if it is best for your well-being. You could visit friends or even take yourself on holiday. Spend the day on your own if that is what is best for you. (If that feels a bit raw due to a recent break up – read this) If you do go, don’t feel you have to stay – book a hotel nearby if necessary.
Even if you want to see your family – you can still need a little mental break. Take the family dog for a walk. Take a book to read whilst the family watch the same Christmas films for the hundredth time. Go for a nap.
Remember, it is just one or two days, and a great opportunity to make memories with your nearest and dearest. Even if those memories belong in a sitcom.