December 7, 2009

Dreaming of a Peaceful Christmas (a.k.a. 8 Ways to Holiday Peace)

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As children, the dilemma of where to spend the holidays seemed to be easily worked out by our parents. However, as more family members were added through marriages and births, though, the more diverse the personalities and distances our parents had to manage. Commonly when a couple gets married, they attempt to make everyone happy and see as many people as they can over the holidays. Invariably, by the time the new year rolls around, newlyweds end up totally frazzled from celebrating Christmas several times with many sets of relatives. Once couples add a few of their own kids to the mix, Christmas Day can get even more crazy, leaving them feeling like the rope in a game of Human Tug-of-War. Following are some quick fixes that will help you and your family fully enjoy Christmas this year.

1. Combine family events. Instead of running to your parents’ house and THEN to see each of your siblings separately, consider having just one shin-dig at one location when most everyone can attend. A sit-down dinner isn’t necessary. In fact, make it a potluck! Some choose to throw a party like this at their house every year the Friday evening before Christmas, for example, and have crafts for the kids (like building a gingerbread house or painting ornaments).

2. Consider an Open House. Choose a location (like your uncle’s house), a date and a convenient time frame when family members can come and go as they please without the pressure of being on time for a meal. Serve finger foods and other easy fare to make it easy on the hostess.

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