Don’t Let Stress Spoil Your Christmas

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3. Discuss the plan with your immediate family 

Make sure everyone is on the same page, so everyone knows where they’re going and when. As far as food, figure out who is bringing what to dinner. If guests can contribute food, this can help take some of the burden off the host.


4. Be Proactive in Handling Potential Drama

If there are any relatives with whom you have had disagreements or tension with, talk with them before you see each other at the holiday gathering. There is nothing worse than unresolved drama and resentment boiling to the surface over a holiday meal. Do yourself and your family a favor and spare them this spectacle. Meet with them beforehand and talk it out in a respectful manner so that you can all have a peaceful day together. No one’s saying you have to become best friends right away; just agree to put the drama behind you as best you can and bury the hatchet, at least for that day.

If there’s someone you truly cannot tolerate being around, then perhaps the only option is to spend the holidays separately. There’s no point torturing yourself (or them), but again, this applies to extreme cases only.


5. Share the Burden

Don’t try to do everything yourself, or you may end up feeling resentful that you put so much thought and energy into preparing for the holidays while no one else helped. Ask for help. Assign certain tasks to kids or other relatives. Oftentimes they’ll be very happy to be a part of it all. This way, it’s not really a burden at all.

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