If you have an uncle who drinks too much, a cousin who’s recently lost a spouse or a sibling who always makes you lose your temper, it’s important to prepare yourself so that you’ll be ready to defuse the situation. There’s no miracle cure for family drama, but with a little preparation and a lot of deep breaths, you’ll be able to get through Christmas dinner. Here are some scenarios you may encounter.
If one of your holiday guests drinks too much, focus on making sure they stay safe. Cut off their access to alcohol and give them plenty of water. Watch them closely for the rest of the evening, and above all, don’t let them drive. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on anyone who you know struggles to set limits for themselves.
Depression and bereavement
Christmas can be a difficult time for people who suffer from depression or for those who’ve lost a loved one. If this applies to one of your guests, don’t minimize their pain or tell them to “cheer up.” Instead, be patient, listen to what they have to say and respect their need to stay quiet or be alone for a few moments.
Whether it’s due to politics, childhood resentments or conflicting temperaments, there are some people who just can’t seem to get along. Try to keep bickering relatives apart and the conversation light. If you find yourself getting upset because of a family member, stay calm and count to 10 before saying anything. Step outside or go to the restroom if you need a moment to regain your cool.