My dear readers. If you are literally juggling 1,000 balls in the air only to be tossed 50 more because well, tis the season, this post is for you. If you have extended family that can make the holidays difficult, this post is for you. And if you are simply looking for additional armor to safeguard your hearts this holiday season, this post is for you.

I was recently talking with a friend who was lamenting about how she was mentally amping herself up for the impending doom of spending holidays with extended family. Moreover, she shared that her family doesn’t have the same views and values as she does and how their gatherings almost always end with a fight and a meltdown. It made my heart break for her, but also got me thinking about my own family and how we struggle with the same issues. Some members have even declared that they no longer want to be a part of our family because we choose to love, support, and fully affirm our trans child. As a result, this can cause the holidays to have a bit of a black cloud over them around our house. 

Therefore, I want us to talk about some ways that we can de-escalate, or better yet, prevent unnecessary tension and heartache over the holidays. In addition, I am going to share some fun items that we use at our home.

  1. Set boundaries. Above all, let your loved ones know that you want to spend time with them in a healthy and joyful way. Ask them to avoid polarizing topics. For an example of visual queues visit my previous post with free place card examples.
  2. Rather than sit around the table and talk about hot topics, play games instead. Following this post I have linked some of our favorite games to play around the holiday.
  3. Read a favorite story together or take an adventure with a book. Most importantly, create a little escape from reality.
  4. Choose to take a walk together in nature. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the much-needed vitamin D.
  5. Watch a funny movie. Be sure to choose one that is purely comical and doesn’t have an undertone of a divisive topic. 

More than anything, know your limits. When you feel yourself close to the edge, remind your loved ones that you care about them, but the way they are speaking is upsetting to you. Then simply say your goodbyes and leave. Friends, let’s protect our peace this holiday season. Let’s choose to safeguard our hearts and choose love and joy over divisiveness and hostility. And above all, if you find yourself surrounded by people who choose hate over love, remember that you always have a place at my table. All are welcome.

Games:

Books:

Movies:

In sum, If all else fails, you can escape, bake and release endorphins. I love my infrared spa and cannot recommend it more highly. 

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