Martha is looking forward to the holidays. Every year, she starts to prepare early. From the finest decorations to recipes that tickle your taste buds in the most delightful way: Martha takes Christmas seriously.
What she loves most is that it's the only time of the year when the whole family gets together. Even her parents fly in from Florida.
She looks forward to her favorite holiday every year. Sadly, also every year what is supposed to be the festival of love turns into a huge fight.
Last year was extremely bad:
Martha was mad at everyone. She prepared for weeks and spent 2.5 days in the kitchen but nobody, really NOBODY, appreciated her hard work. Instead, everyone was complaining
Maurice, Martha's son, didn't hide how much he hated the whole thing. He was the only one of his friends who was forced to stay at home. All the others met for possibly the greatest party of the year. Nobody likes to be blackmailed. (In Martha's defense: she had no other choice than threatening that she wouldn't buy Maurice the car she promised for his 18th birthday)
Erin was crying for hours. She wanted a PlayStation. But her uncool parents bought an Xbox. An Xbox 360. Where did they even find it? In the "free stuff" section of Craigslist?
Martha's parents were seriously unhappy. They are not the youngest and traveling is exhausting. They came all the way from Florida to spend quality time with their daughter and grandchildren. The grandchildren were in a devilish mood while her daughter spent all of the time in the kitchen. They were stuck with Bill whom they never liked. Who`s Bill?
Bill, Martha's husband, has had it with Christmas. All he wants is a bit of silence and peace. Week-in, week-out he rushes from meeting to meeting and the last thing he wants to do in the little time he has to himself is entertaining grumpy in-laws, juggle ill-tempered kids and listen to horrible Christmas music
Would you like more Christmas music? Follow the link at the end of the post and order your free album with Christmas songs.
Why do we argue and fight on holidays?
Not just around Christmas, but also on vacations and other holidays: Often what is supposed to be a wonderful time turns into a stressful event.
Some of the nicest people I know turn into selfish monster who want to force their idea of an ideal vacation/holiday onto others.
There are several reasons that lead to this, for instance:
We're not used to spend so much time together
How to avoid fighting on holidays
The most important tip: Stay emphatic. Just like the rest of the year. Also:
Don't expect too much. You will not get along better with people than the rest of the year
Try not to force your idea of a perfect Christmas onto others. Everyone should be able to contribute their ideas and who doesn't want to participate shouldn't be forced to
Avoid fundamental debates. It's unlikely that you will find consent about a topic you disagreed on all year long at the Christmas table
If possible, split the work. Everyone could contribute and be responsible for a part of the Christmas festival
Don't force people to spend hours and hours together if they don't want to. It will only lead to arguments
Don't force them to do things they hate. For example: if your kids don't want to sing Christmas songs - don't make them
Don't overdo it. It doesn't have to be a 6-course menu. Consider preparing something festive but simple so that you are not already stressed out when it begins
Gifts are supposed to make people happy. If someone doesn't like their present, they should be allowed to say so. Keep in mind: It's not a rejection of your person
Procrastination around Christmas
An interesting phenomenon is procrastination around the Christmas. Are you interested in some effective tips how to eliminate it?
I wrote an article for you about this last year and, if you prefer, you can also listen to the audio edition.
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