The holiday season is one of the most rewarding and impressionable seasons of the year. Excitement and anticipation hang in the air. Even with all the store shopping and gift giving, it is not uncommon for emotions to run high.
Emotional Holiday Triggers
The holiday season can bring an array of emotional triggers that ultimately lead to discord. People contact friends they haven’t seen since the same time the previous year. Large numbers of people will drive, catch an airline flight or train home to visit with family. Hectic work and home schedules will be placed on somewhat of a pause just so people can make valuable connections. Even during economic downturns, around the world there will be enough champagne, soda and water pouring during holiday parties to feed a small town.
And grandparents and parents will be praying that certain siblings, cousins or aunts and uncles do not ruin the festivities by breaking out into yet another vicious verbal altercation over an event that’s as old as the family station wagon parked beneath a mound of dust in the garage.
The subconscious mind is a strange system. Often, people won’t even remember a perceived or actual offense made against them by a relative until holidays approach. Privately and directly addressing the item with the relative several days or weeks prior to a holiday gathering is a good step forward.
How to Focus on Blessings
It’s important to ake responsbility for one’s life situations. Write down specific items to be addressed during the conversation to avoid rambling from topic to topic and getting entrenched in a pattern of blaming the other person. List workable solutions that will rectify the situation so all parties can move forward once and for all with love, understanding and in peace. Steer clear of pulling other relatives into the fray.
Family relations are not sporting events. There is no need to demand that other relatives choose sides in a disagreement. Family disagreements are also not entertainment events where certain relatives get upset then act out as if they were performing for the rest of the family at a comedic event.
Meditation, yoga, sitting still in two to ten minute intervals throughout the day, walking in nature and deep breathing are excellent tools to lower stress and negative emotions. Mild bath scents, soft colors and listening to easy music can also help lower stress and help people to think more clearly. Writing in a journal to openly express emotions and thoughts and receiving acupuncture or deep body massage are other effective tools that help to lower stress and encourage clearer thinking.
Incorporate Vision Into Holiday Traditions
Incorporate clear vision into holiday and year round family relations. To do this during holiday gatherings, families can decide what key blessings they want to gain or create during family gatherings. For example, family members could note that they want to start a trend of eating healthier foods during the holidays, watch old family videos to acknowledge collective growth or visit local historic attractions as a single family unit.
When families know what they want to achieve during holiday gatherings, especially if there has been a history of erupting disagreements between certain relatives, the better they will know when they are on track or when they need to make changes or adjustments to keep peace and understanding between family members.
Relatives who struggle to find something good about another relative can try writing down a list of five positive traits the specific relative has. Each family member can appreciate the unit more by listing 25 blessings they have received over the years from being a member of their family. Be specific when writing down blessings.
No Need to be Perfect
For example, rather than writing, “Have good health,” try writing something like, “Did not have to be rushed to the hospital once this entire year.” Rather than writing, “Have food to eat,” try writing something like, “Had access to fruit and vegetables, foods bursting with vitamins and energy, every day of the year.” This creates a mindset of appreciation which can engender understanding, patience and increased appreciation.
Perfection is not the aim. Forgiveness, increased love, understanding, patience and appreciation are. Each family member is a work in progress. Each family member continues to learn through various life experiences. Not one hasn’t made a mistake or misunderstood another.
Consider using meditation, stillness, acupuncture, bath scents and taking walks in nature and listing blessings to create a mindset of appreciation. Create family traditions like visiting local historic sites as a single unit to deepen holiday bonds. Focus on positive traits in each relative and have the happiest of holidays.