Holiday Hopping Hot Buttons!

Next you’ll want to organize all this information on a spreadsheet--either on a giant-sized piece of paper or with Excel if you’re computer savvy. You may happily discover that each family member has a different favorite holiday or similar expectations. If not, then it’s time for negotiation. Instead of arguing when family members’ conflict on how/where to spend holidays, you can choose to vote, come to a consensus, or assign a leader to make the final decision (you can even assign different leaders for different holidays).

Agree before you begin, that if the discussions start to get heated, you will take a ‘time out’ before the shouting starts and reconvene later after you’ve both had a chance to calm down. The most important lesson here is that expectations are set in advance and results are fair. Once your immediate family has finalized their decisions, now is the time to notify extended family of your choices.

Whenever difficult communications is required, remember it always works best when ‘blood speaks to blood’. In other words, if the joint decision is that you’re going skiing for Thanksgiving instead of to his parent’s house for dinner, then it is best if he tells his folks. If you’re staying home to open presents with the kids on Christmas Day instead of traveling to her parents, then she’ll want to break the news. If you anticipate disappointment, be prepared and be firm. Perhaps you may consider inviting them to join you instead or offer to spend an alternative holiday together. Sometimes you may be pleasantly surprised, because they may have felt stuck in a holiday tradition and will welcome a change, too!

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If you’d like to learn more about how to use Mars Venus skills to negotiate instead of argue when you don’t agree with your partner, contact me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!