As much as we look forward to spending time with the ones we love tensions can rise during the holiday season. Whether it’s the one family member who rubs everyone the wrong way, two people who clash, or multiple family members and guests who rarely see eye to eye—these tips will help.
While the goal is to spend time with loved ones you can ease the tension and stress by ensuring there is breathing room and space to get away. While everyone will eat dinner and open gifts together, make sure there is space to socialize in at least two different areas of your home.
Offer Something Structured
Whether it’s board games, video games, watching a Christmas movie, a game on TV, or even asking someone to help you cook and organize—offer activities that will keep everyone focused reducing the likelihood of a debate.
Set Clear Boundaries
Send out a last-minute email reminder letting guests know the boundaries for the day. This might include taking tense topics off the table. For example, a lot of families are taking politics off the table this year during holiday gatherings.
Last but not least, don’t sit in silence. If a loved one crosses the line be there for the person who their words are directed. Do everything you can to create a safe space for those who feel the most tension during family gatherings.