Christmas peace, winter sunset

Keeping the Peace at Christmas

What’s important to you this Christmas? Is it making sure the kids are happy? is it keeping the peace between your brothers and sisters?What about making sure you don’t argue with your mother-in-law? And then there’s the presents and the food…
Does the whole idea make you grumpy?


Christmas brings additional pressures–to provide the perfect feast, be cheerful, be kind to people we don’t like, spend lots of money…
So how can you contribute to keeping the peace at Christmas if you aren’t a saint? Here are some ideas that have helped transform my Christmas holidays (still not perfect–I am human after all…)

Keeping the PEACE

  • Put aside some time to do something that you enjoy, that makes you feel happier. It might be a walk, watching your favourite TV show, whatever. If you are not happy, it will spoil it for others as unhappiness leaks out as sarcasm or sulking. I used to clatter the washing up in resentment when everyone else was sitting reading–when I sat down and read, no one complained and I was happier…
  • Encourage everyone else to say what make them happy. It may not be possible to do that, but don’t reject it immediately. For example, the kids might resent the time you spend with an elderly relative and not want you to do that Christmas day. Explain why you need to, but ask what would make it easier or more fun for them, or whether you could have a special time with them, Christmas Eve.
  • Accept that you can’t change others. Despite TV  movies of miracles and magic changing character, the only way you get real change is when the person wants to change. What you can do is try and figure out what you could do to make them want to change.  10 calming things to say
  • Count your blessings, not someone else’s. There are always people that seem to be happier, richer, more successful, but we don’t know what problems they may have. When I started thinking about what I did have, it made me more generous and tolerant.
  • Expect less. Christmas is not going to be perfect for everyone. Set some realistic targets. I realised I don’t have to cook everything from scratch. If I want to because I enjoy it, that’s different…Work out what really matters and don’t sweat the small stuff. More ideas

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