Don't you feel like Christmas kind of goes downhill from the minute you hear the truth about that whole Father Christmas thing? Maybe it's that, or the fundamentally unnatural concept of having umpteen adults under the same roof at one time, that makes it the whole holiday, erm, tricky. But guys, there are some key things you can do to help ensure a more peaceful Christmas at home this year, if that's what your after. Yes, that's right. You can be the master of your very own Christmas miracle.
Does the annual event that is the Yuletide season fill you with fear and dread? Guess what, you're not alone. Sadly for many, Christmas is a super lonely and stressful time — no matter what their family or relationship situation is. And, let's be real, even the most even tempered and kind individual might feel their blood pressure rise after a few crappy nights sleep on your childhood bed. Or, even worse, as the only single person in the whole house — the sofa or floor.
This year might be the one to change it all for you. Say farewell to your Grinch-like ways and bring on the drama-free festivities. By building some very simple boundaries for yourself, you'll be able to coast through Christmas as if you're the happiest elf in town.
Keep your ears peeled for shifts in tone
Something that's super interesting when you reflect on more, shall we say, difficult interpersonal communication break downs is there's usually a sort of build up or switch when things go south. Be wary of these and try to steer away from them.
Go easy on the alcohol
Endless amounts of booze that you've potentially not had to pay for is the contemporary version of Eve and that damn apple. And this Eve has eaten a whole bushel of apples, figuratively speaking, and suffered the consequences.
Be conscious of what you're drinking, how often your glass is being filled up, and what drinks just don't serve you very well.
Listen to others
Even if someone is saying something you seriously disagree with, let them finish. The BBC reports that author of book How To Argue Jonathan Herring, who's also an Oxford University law professor, says butting in can cause butting of heads. "When you interrupt someone you are essentially saying you don't want to hear what they are saying and that creates a bad atmosphere," Herring explains.
So less butts, more ears. Respectfully disagree and move on.
Make sure everyone chips in
Although it can be difficult to try and rally the troops and not be referred to as bossy (let's be real, it's only women that get called bossy) it can prevent a surge in seething resentment.
There's a whole load of help needed to pull off a big meal, to clean, to shop, to tidy up. So make sure that people all get involved so nobody feels hard done by.
Remember it's only once a year
As someone who openly loathes and despises Christmas and all of its pressures, this thought soothes me a great deal. Yes it's hard to get involved with traditions that are no longer yours and boy oh boy it's hard not to regress to your former childhood, grumpy self. Respect your own boundaries and those of the people around you and feel the weight of the season lift from your shoulders.
Hopefully all of the above should ensure a relatively peaceful Christmas time at home for you. But, remember, if Christmas with your family feels like too much to bear, take a step back and think about your mental health. If spending Christmas with friends, a partner, or even by yourself, feels like a better option, maybe that's the one you should go for.
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