How to Handle Difficult Family Members During the Holiday Season!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

What is there to say about family? You can’t live with them, but you can’t live without them either. You have to love them – but oh boy, do they make the holidays harder than they have to be. Here’s how you can handle your family over the holidays and come to enjoy your time with them.

  1. The In-Laws
Yep. The “I” word around the holidays can only mean one thing: in-laws. Wipe that cringe off your face. In-laws can be such a touchy subject to you or your spouse, and it’s even worse around the holidays, right? This year, follow the do’s and don’ts when it comes to your mother and/or father-in-law. It’ll be a complete game-changer for you.
Believe it or not, it is possible to get through a holiday without offending your spouse’s mother. If you have to hold back your sarcasm for one evening, do it. If you want a civil holiday event with your in-laws, ask your spouse what their parents love. Then google those topics and talk only about them. So what if you mention a football team 23 times because your father-in-law is obsessed? They’ll be happy and you’ll be happy.
  1. The Elderly
If your great Aunt Tootsie comes to your holiday party even though she’s almost 100 years old and you question how she’s still moving those hips, keep calm and be prepared. Older family members can be a real handful when you only see them around the holidays. When Aunt Tootsie calls you by the wrong name for the fifth time and can’t hear what you’re saying, just go with it. It will make your night more fun, and definitely more interesting.
If you’re up for it, this holiday you can impress your older relatives by showing you care and understand them. Get to know their lingo so you can carry the conversation. Learn more about their lifestyle and where your older family members call their home. Invite yourself to their next bingo game or community yard sale. Boom. You just made Aunt Tootsie’s day.
  1. The Non-PC Uncle
Everyone has one of those uncles in their family. When it comes to being politically correct, he’s not the best – and he doesn’t care who knows it. He’s the same crazy, loud guy who gave you too much candy as a kid and sent you home to drive your parents bonkers. Get on his level this holiday.
When he tells a political joke at the dinner table, distract him by asking him if he needs a refill on his drink. You can’t control it if he says an inappropriate joke in front of your girlfriend who’s meeting the family for the first time. Just remember that you’re not alone and you’re definitely not the only one rolling your eyes at the dad jokes your uncle tells.
  1. The Nosy Aunt
She’s the family member who always needs to be the first to know everything. Those dreaded questions are going to come your way no matter what. If you’re single, come up with a witty comeback for when your aunt asks you if you’ve fallen madly in love since the last time she’s seen you. If you’re married and she asks you when you’re going to start having kids, just try an honest but noncommittal response, like “When we’re ready.”
Prepare yourself with how to answer those annoying questions your family members are going to ask you. Whatever you do, don’t fake having a fiancĂ©. Embrace your singlehood.
  1. The Screaming Children
Parenting is not an easy thing, and even if you don’t have kids you can at least understand the horrors dealing with misbehaving children at a family function. The best way to keep the kids happy this holiday is to keep them entertained. No one wants to ruin a child’s joy of Santa stories and all of his reindeer. You can’t blame children for their behavior during the holidays – it can be an overwhelming time.
Remember a few things when it comes to kids this holiday:
  • They eat anything they can get their hands on
  • They repeat anything you say
  • They see a present and assume it’s for them
  • They just want attention
  • They will cry if you tell them Santa isn’t real

  1. The Holiday Grinch
There’s always that one family member who absolutely hates this time of year. The family member who complains about Christmas music being played too early, Christmas lights raising the electricity bill and the hassle of trimming the tree. You know, the person who strongly supports “Feliz-Navi-Don’t.”
Try to understand the holiday hater family member and where they’re coming from. Maybe they have true reasons to be a scrooge. You never know what someone is going through or how the holidays can affect them. Try to be understanding of your family members and give them a break if they simply don’t love the holidays.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that crazy things can happen at family parties during the holidays. Hopefully this holiday season you feel more prepared with how to handle your family. Just. 

Jennifer Landis is a freelance writer and healthy living blogger. She drinks tea in excess, has a collection of peanut butters, and is a super nerd at heart. Find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.
Check out Jennifer's previous posts for me - 12 Tips To Prepare For Christmas and 5 fun and affordable ways to relax! xo

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