We have been helping our clients deal with the aftermath of Christmas for years. We always like to help you out with some preparation in advance. Below is our Christmas survival guide.
We all know that Christmas can be a stressful time. Studies show that January 6th 2014 is likely to be the busiest day of the year for divorce lawyers as up to one in five couples enquire about divorce after Christmas has taken its toll.
Don’t let the increased pressure of the season caused by such factors as finance, expectations, and visiting relatives ruin your special time with your family. Thinking about these things in advance can pay dividends. Here are a few thoughts to help you.
Manage Your Expectations.
Julian says “The one thing that shatters relationships and ruins friendships more than any other is expectations. When we say that someone is not meeting our ‘needs’, we usually mean that he/she is not living up to our expectations. True needs are very few, but expectations are limitless.”
My rule of thumb is “How big is my emotional reaction to this going to be?” If I will get really angry if my expectations are not met then chances are my expectations in the first place are unreasonable.
Think about the following to help you survive –
- Its only one or two days. This is not the rest of your life but the consequences of losing your temper can last a lot longer.
- Ask each visitor for specific help. Become a delegator not an agitator. We all have a fundamental need to feel useful. Play to it.
- Leave collages of family photos or photo albums out for people to look through and make their own conversation. It’s not your responsibility to entertain.
- Arrange for a phone call to a close friend who may feel the same way so that you offload or support each other.
- Look for the positive motivation behind everything. The chances are it’s true. Help is offered for genuine reasons and not to imply that you are useless. Relatives boast about the money they have spent to make themselves feel better not to make you feel worse.
- Drip feed the children presents. How many of you have experienced children up at 5 am, all presents opened at 6 am and children bored at 9 am. The longer they take to open their presents the more they will enjoy them. Save some for Boxing Day.
- Get everyone out for a walk. The most enjoyable conversations happen on walks because there is nothing else to do and you walk side by side thus creating a feeling of affiliation and respect.
With a little bit of forethought and planning most eventualities can be thought out with positive solutions.
Remember, you have fantastic memories of Christmas as children. The good times happen because people relax and come together with a common purpose…to enjoy each other’s company. With a little give and take we can all enjoy ourselves. Think of everyone you will be with and the good times you have had with them. Keep those at the forefront of you r mind and decide to enjoy Christmas.