Healing Strained Family Relationships During the Holidays

 Advice to make the holidays peaceful and less stressful.

11.09.11 Turkey top questions blog - Flickr - USDAgov

Do you dread an upcoming family gathering because you will have to deal with some crazy relatives? If so, here are some recommendations, based in part on suggestions in Healing Relationships is an Inside Job.

Just reading this list may encourage you to face your family with less dread — and to slow down a bit as you approach the end-of-year get-togethers.

Be sure to notice the suggestions in bold.

Be glad your family isn’t boring.

Consider using this as a time to heal old wounds, which may be easier than you think.

Use the KISS method, which, if you don’t know, stands for “keep it simple silly.”

Take mini-vacations before, during, and after the family gathering.

Be flexible.

Write “DON’T PANIC” on the top of your to-do list.

Spend a quiet day or evening all by yourself.

Ask for help when you need it!!!


Invite friends, if for no other reason than the observation that family feuds are often toned down in front of outside company.

Treat your family like you treat your friends.

Compliment your family, especially those whose hard work is often overlooked because it is always expected of someone.

See others as they are today, not as they were the last time you saw them, or as they were many years ago; people really do change when you aren’t looking.

Let bygones be bygones.


Give people space to be themselves.

Make exceptions to accommodate special needs.

Take advantage of the occasion to create an oral history event.

Remember what’s really important.


Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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