How to Make the Most of Family Time this Holiday Season
By: Kate McCallum
The holiday season is a time filled with joy, sentimental traditions and countless hours of quality time spent with your family. While this is a valuable time to strengthen ties and reconnect with your family members, it would be unrealistic to overlook the frequent disagreements that stem from so much togetherness. Despite having positive intentions, these winter days spent inside can build tensions between you and your siblings, parents, grandparents and extended family. You may be wondering - How can I ensure that this quality time is in fact high quality? Follow Apricotton’s advice on resolving conflict and planning your holidays to make maximum positive memories this year.
Acknowledge that No Family is Perfect
The first step to ensuring family time runs smoothly is to set reasonable expectations. With a never-ending reel of Hallmark Movies circulating, it can be difficult to remember that there is no attainable standard for a “perfect” family. Every family, regardless of its structure, faces challenges from time to time. The best way to keep all members content is by acknowledging that these disagreements are bound to take place. Instead of judging one another for allowing tensions to build, you are better off forgiving one another for these natural imperfections.
A major source of conflict during the holidays is a collective feeling of restlessness and irritability after being confined indoors during the cold winter days. With school and work being canceled, it can be easy to keep to the comfort of your cozy home. However, a great way to ease familial tensions is by taking a family trip to the great outdoors. Whether this be a snowy walk in your neighborhood, a visit to the tobogganing hill or a family game of ice hockey, fresh air and a fun group activity is sure to improve your collective mood and create fond memories.
You may notice that you bicker more with your family members when you feel that you have nothing more exciting to do! An excellent strategy to curing this boredom and keeping your family busy is to plan certain group events in advance, and structure this valuable free time. By setting dates that all family members can commit to, and build excitement towards, you will likely enjoy a more fulfilling holiday season. From family movie nights to holiday parades and more, there are a variety of festive activities for your family to choose from!
Be Willing to Compromise
As much as planning family events may appear to be a foolproof solution to disagreements, it can also prove to be a source of conflict. In order for this holiday schedule to please everyone, each member of the family must be willing to compromise. A great way to reach a collective compromise is by letting each family member take turns in leading their ideal holiday activities. By doing so, everyone gets to see their preferences represented, and will allow other family members to step out of their comfort zones.
Take Some Time to Yourself
In the end, the root cause of family conflict during the holidays is social overstimulation. The most surefire way to address this cause is by booking out time in the day to decompress alone, allowing yourself to unwind and recharge after a busy year. Take time to set some intentions for the upcoming year, indulge in self-care and get tons of sleep! By doing so, you will have a strong social battery to make the most out of family quality time.
After all, it is most important that you take time to express gratitude for the amazing and supportive people in your life! Maintaining healthy relationships with family members begins with maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.
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About the Author
Kate is a business student at Western University, who enjoys hiking and canoeing in her free time. As the oldest of three sisters, Kate has a passion for sharing advice, and helping girls build a sense of self-confidence.