How to Make this Holiday Season One of Peace, Joy, and Love
by Gladys Diaz
There is perhaps no other month in the year where people spend more time with family than they do in December. Family gatherings, celebrations, and reunions tend to revolve around the holidays celebrated during this month. While all of us love the idea of being surrounded by family and loved ones, the reality of the holidays isn’t always “picture perfect.”
The truth is that being with our family brings up our “stuff.” You know – reminders of things that happened in our childhood that we wish hadn’t, spending time with people who tend to trigger us in not-so-nice ways, and the experience of being an adult child, which can sometimes be a strange dynamic when we’re around our elders. And, if you’re in a relationship, you can go ahead and double the anxiety, discomfort, and emotions!
One of the things I hear most about from my clients when it comes to the holidays is about their anxiety around spending time with their in-laws. I often hear how “his family” behaves, acts, and treats others. And, unfortunately, what they share is not always about how loving, merry, and jolly the holiday experiences are with their in-laws.
This time of year can also bring about arguments regarding with whose family the holidays will be spent. For a lot of people, being with family means having to travel out of town. This means that they may only be spending the holidays with one their families, which brings up the question: Whose family?
Whether the tension in your relationship is caused by how either of you gets along with your own family or your partner’s family, or having to choose which family to spend the holidays with, there are few things you’ll want to bring with you to your family gatherings in order to make this season a happy and peaceful one for you and those you love.
The Gift of Generosity.
If your partner wants to spend time with his family, regardless of how you feel about them, make an effort to plan some time with them. The holiday season is only a few weeks long, and it will not kill you to allow him to spend some time with the people who, not only love him, but also played a big part in making him the man with whom you fell in love!
The Gift of Forgiveness.
Maybe you and his family – or someone in your own family – have had a falling out. Perhaps things were said or done that have made it difficult for you to want to spend time with them. Maybe it’s time to let go of the anger and resentment and give yourself and them the gift of forgiveness. This doesn’t mean you pretend that nothing happened. It just means that you are releasing yourself from the weight you’ve been carrying around and that you’re creating a space where something new is possible.
The Gift of YOU!
One of the reasons people sometimes do not get along with others is because they are not willing to be vulnerable. However, it’s only when we are vulnerable that people are able to see who we really are and are then able to connect with us. If you’ve been distancing yourself from his family or yours because you’re afraid that they won’t like or accept you, consider bringing YOU to the party this year. Open up a space where you can really connect with at least one person in the family and allow them to see the loving, generous, fun person you are!
The holidays can be a time of happiness and togetherness. Regardless of what has happened in the past, if you would like to experience more closeness your families, consider bringing the gifts of Generosity, Forgiveness, and Vulnerability to your family get-togethers. Because, the truth is that, once you get married, it really stops being about “your family” and “my family,” and it becomes “our family.” So, go ahead! Give yourself and your honey the gift of a loving, happy, and peaceful holiday season!
Wishing you a season of love, joy, peace, and the fulfillment of every single one of your heart’s desires!