Holidays are supposed to be a great time of joy, fellowship, bonding and thankfulness. However, if allowed, holidays can be marred by mess, stress, and long-term fall outs. When planning your holiday functions there are some things that should be considered early on, talked about, adjusted and adopted to help handle family for the holidays.
Decide who’s hosting-Decide early on who is hosting as to not cause tension toward the approach of the date. Fourth of July comes every year on the Fourth of July. We all know that. Plan for it. Hosts should be rotated and should not fall on the same person or family to often.
Decide who’s bringing what-Go ahead and divide the menu with items everyone can contribute to regardless of cooking finesse or cash flow.
Avoid family gossip-Don’t sit around the table or spend time on the phone talking about your loved ones. It should never be done, but holidays are especially not the time to talk about: who can’t cook, who ate too much but didn’t help clean up, who’s children are “active”, who’s marriage is falling apart, who Mama likes best, who Big Daddy left the inheritance to, who can’t do the Electric Slide, etc.
Share the grown children-One task during the holidays is making sure everyone gets the time and attention needed. Parents of grown children who are also parents should be sensitive to children’s obligations of spending time with both sets of families. Children of parents should be sensitive to making sure that both sets of families enjoy time with your children and you.
Share the little ones-Another daunting task is children of divorce or single parent homes. Discuss with all parties involved whatever is needed to make sure the little ones have ample, meaningful time with both parents during the holiday season if that is a feasible option.
Form your own traditions-One tragedy of some Christian or African-American families is the loss of holiday experiences at the loss of a loved one. Loss is the time when you need each other most. Take the time to strategically plan how to create new traditions and carry on the old ones so the legacy of your lost loved ones lives on.
Handle those that don’t get along-Don’t let holiday squabbles ruin holiday memories. Find creative ways to keep the peace.
Handle different lifestyles-Holidays are the time when all kinds of family members show up. I know my family isn’t the only one with an hodgepodge of people. Don’t let that stop the celebration from going on. Find ways to make everyone comfortable and feeling loved.
Don’t give up on getting together-With any group of people things are bound to happen. Don’t let one, or two (or five) challenges stop the family from getting together especially during the holidays.