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by Amy Crouse November 28, 2013

If you have found me on a holiday, it could be an effort to escape the impending stress of an extended time with the people who have known you the longest, but maybe have not one other thing in common with you. Yep, it’s time to see extended family. For an extended amount of time. (Thank God for smartphones that  can allow this kind of isolation J) 

Anyway, it is time to face the music and maybe enjoy these crazies in your bloodline a little. I have always taken comfort in those funny holiday movies with the protagonist forced to interact with the their funky relatives. As funny as those movies, and jokes are, for some people it is really stressful because of some serious baggage from the past. 

Do a quick Google search on “surviving the holidays with family” and you will see how big of a concern it is. Remember you are not alone and maybe you are someone else’s crazy relative? Try to make the best of it and try to step outside your feelings of hurt or frustration or discomfort and listen and get to know the people that, for whatever reason, have been placed in your life: 

  • Easy ways to enjoy each other are taking a pre-or post-dinner walk around the neighborhood. Always easy conversations start while busy NOT looking at each other and being distracted by nature.
  • Think of questions to ask to get to know their past or future a little bit better.
  • Play a fun and easy group board game like “Apples to Apples” or “5 Second Rule”
  • Serve others: keep busy by cleaning and helping. You will feel much better at the end of the day knowing you weren’t sulking on your phone in the corner. People can tell you are unhappy.
  • Think you could be the person that drives someone else crazy. Treat others how you would want to be treated.  

Some good advice I found on these websites:

http://bewell.stanford.edu/surviving-the-family-holiday

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/worry-wise/201212/surviving-family-holiday-gatherings  

Remember, even Jesus felt rejected by his family and town (Mark 6, Luke 4 and John 7). If He can love and forgive and serve, so can you. Now get off your phone and make some fun.

~Amy

 

Amy Crouse
Amy Crouse


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