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Making The Most of Holiday Gatherings

The holidays can bring out the best…and worst in people.   For some the holidays are all about reconnecting with family and friends.  For others, the holidays are a reminder of family and friends that have passed on, or pissed us off.  Here are a few tips on how to make the most the holiday season…

Family gatherings where one or more family members are negative can be tough, so it’s best to prepare yourself before going in.  Every day from now until the event, start building your mental positivity armor.  Take a few minutes every day, and envision yourself having a great holiday no matter what happens or who’s there.  See yourself having a great time with the family you do enjoy.  When you feel the negativity coming on, imagine that negativity bouncing off your positivity.  Remember the family member who is negative is trying to bring you down to their level…your job is to rise above.

For those who have a loving family member or friend that have passed, the holidays can be difficult because of the memories you have with those family memories.  If the family members are ones you loved, be sure to take a few moments to remember them.  Toast them with their favorite beverage, light a candle, or make their favorite dish.   You might even share some stories around the dinner table about the family member.

For those who have a family member or friend that passed that wasn’t as “cherished.” Realize that whatever they did to you was probably due to a serious personality flaw or shortcoming in themselves, and unfortunately you were affected as a result.  Forgive them for what they did, or take steps to rewrite the memory so that it’s positive for you.  

For those who may find themselves alone during the holidays due to family disagreements, the tendency is always to focus on the family member that isn’t talking to you while ignoring the friends and family who do.  Focus on your “chosen family,” and work on creating memories with those who appreciate you and enjoy your company.

For those who feel obligated to spend the holidays with family due to guilt…remember…how you spend your holidays is ultimately YOUR CHOICE.  You can spend the holidays however you choose, and you should never be made to feel guilty about who you spend your time with.  Most people don’t feel any guilt not spending the other 364 days with that family member(s), so give yourself a break and realize that how you spend the holidays is totally up to you!

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