The holidays are hands down one of my favorite parts of the year. I love more than anything to watch classic Christmas movies, jam out to holiday tunes, and catch up with family members that I haven't seen since last year.
However, family can sometimes be a tricky part of the holidays to deal with. Christmas is already crazy enough, with all of the excitement about buying and receiving presents, making festive meals, and preparing for the big day. But when you throw in a bunch of family members all in one household, things can get crazy.
Luckily, there are a few ways to deal with the madness and hopefully avoid it as much as possible to make your season more peaceful. Here are a few of my personal tips that I've learned over the past few years.
1. Avoid topics that could lead to heated debates or arguments
There is so much that you and your family can talk about as a way to catch up with one another. If one of your relatives is known for getting heated over politics or family drama, try talking to them about something they're interested in, such as sports or music. Getting into debates or arguments is the last thing that anyone wants to do.
2. Find a space in the house that's quiet so you can be alone
Whether it's your own room or another separate room in the house, find some quiet space where you can relax with your own thoughts if things are getting too chaotic. Being around a bunch of people, especially your family members, can be draining during the holidays, because everyone is excited and anticipating the presents, the food, etc. So it's definitely safe to say that we all need a break at some point.
3. If you feel overwhelmed, leave the house and go somewhere you like
Taking a walk around the neighborhood, driving to your favorite coffee shop or cafe, or even driving just for the heck of it are all good strategies to get out of the house. Just like with the last tip, it's good to take a break from everything if you're feeling overwhelmed from all the chaos happening around you.
4. Drink a lot of coffee
If you need something to keep you going throughout the day and all of the plans your family has scheduled, coffee will be your new best friend.
5. Make sure you're eating food when you're asked an awkward question that you don't want to answer
Spending the holidays with other family members are notorious for college students being asked the most awkward questions, such as "How are your grades so far?" or "Do you have a job yet?" or even "Do you finally have a boyfriend?". The trick to avoiding these is to just keep on eating at the dinner table, and simply shrug it off.
6. Don't argue about not being in the family picture
Trust me, I hate big family pictures too, because it takes forever for everyone to get together and pose, and then the picture ends up looking bad. But there's no point in arguing, because your family members will probably force you into it anyways, and arguing back and forth will only make it take longer for the picture to be taken.
7. Just step back, go with the flow, and stay as patient as you can
This is obviously easier said than done, but patience is truly a virtue when it comes to spending the holidays with a big, crazy family. Everyone is obviously going to have their own agenda, the schedule will be different from what you're used to, and some things might not be exact to your liking. But taking a step back and accepting this early on will keep you a bit more sane throughout all the chaos, because arguing about how you want things to go will get you nowhere.
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