Surviving the holidays with each others' family

In my house we have a tradition. After Thanksgiving dinner, when everyone's in a too-much-turkey coma, we put on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and laugh and laugh .Who doesn't love this movie?  Everyone has a Cousin Eddie that they think of when they watch this movie and everyone can put themselves in Clark's shoes messing with those @#$% Christmas lights. Like Clark Griswold, everyone looks forward to family during the holidays. And like Clark Griswold, we also can't help but grin when it's all over.

In a more professional realm, I often talk with couples who have quarrels with each other's family. There's nothing unusual or embarassing about this. Think about it, you can select who you want as friends based on each other's interests, personality traits, etc. But you can't select who's in your family. It's just something you're born with. You can't expect to get along with everyone in your family, there's too many differences. The same is true with your spouse's family. While you may have selected an exceptional spouse, you can't pick who their family is. And let's face it, if you waited to find a perfect spouse with a perfect family, you probably gave up waiting and married your spouse anyway :-). With so many different family members (and so many differences among them) you can't expect to get along with them all especially during the holidays when everyone is crammed into the same room with each other. At the same you don't want to fight with your spouse about visiting family over the holidays just because you don't get along with them. So what can you and your spouse do to help each other have an enjoyable holiday and also cut down on the inevitable fights that ensue? There is too much advice on this topic to include in just one post so over the next couple of weeks I will be giving tips and pointers to surviving the holidays with your family.  So to begin with, here is tip number 4.

4) Limit the number of extended family get togethers. The holidays are busy anyway, the last thing you want to do is make an obligatory appearance to your twice removed great Aunt Thelma's Christmas party just so you can see your more immediate family members (e.g sibilings). You'll see them at other parties, anyway. You don't know everyone at the party so you can be certain that your spouse doesn't either. So while you're chatting away with your immediate family who are there, your spouse is trying to juggle the kids, get their food, and avoid 'that wierd one' who keeps staring at them. This is no fun for your spouse and you can guarantee you're going to hear about it after you get home. Spare both of you the agony and attend only the events with the closest family members.


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