We all think of that short increment of time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day as a magical time of year. Visions of crackling fires, hot chocolate, turkey, cookies, and Family all happily together. We almost develop a bit of memory loss, forgetting the things that may have happened in the past. I always have so much hope, as those days approach. Let's try to head the drama, and ill feelings off at the pass.

Pass on the alcohol

This is especially true in my own family. As the liquor flows, tongues loosen and arguments about long past issues almost always float to the surface.

If there are children at the festivities, it just tarnishes the day for them. Hopefully your family won't be sneaking it like mine does.

Invite some good-natured friends

Very often people will be on their best behavior when someone unknown enters the festivities. Invite friends that may not have close family, or an elderly person that is on their own. It will be good for everyone!

Assign seating

Write down the names of all of your planned guests prior, really think about the personalities, and any known conflicts.

Adjust accordingly.

Plan activities

If possible, plan some outdoor play time for the kids, they need to burn off energy (let the parents know in advance so they can bring extra outdoor clothing). Watching a Christmas movie, or playing some fun board games (make sure that the games you plan take into account, those members of the family that are overly competitive).

Keep your sense of humor

This is an absolute must!

I learned this as a child, when my always grumpy, crass grandma would make rude comments to literally everyone. She always had a favorite and would routinely place that child on a pedestal. My cousins and I would often get together and compare insults, and laugh hysterically.


Remind yourself that the perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas that we dream of, is just not a reality. Accept the bad with the good.

You will have amazing material for stories with your friends. Enjoy the holiday season!

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