10 Tips for Having a Peaceful Holiday With Your Crazy Family

by | Nov 26, 2015 | Women

If you are hosting a large group of family members at your home this Thanksgiving or Christmas, you want it to be a special and memorable holiday. Unfortunately, these annual gatherings can often bring out the worst in families. Old hurts can be rekindled and relationships can suffer.

INFO for Families consulted with a panel of relationship experts to learn what you can do to avoid emotional complications this year. We heard their advice and found it to be full of obvious platitudes that most people can figure out on our own. So, we rejected their counsel and made up our own list of ten tips for Imperfect and Normal Families like yours. (If you try these, please take pictures for the rest of us to enjoy.)

1. Before your guests arrive, take the time to carefully consider the different perspectives that others in your family have. Only then can you fully appreciate how inane their ridiculous opinions truly are.

2. Instead of dividing family members into the proverbial “big table” and “kids’ table” segments, scatter chairs and TV trays through every room of your house so that each person can dine in silence and solitude.

3. If, however, you are a traditionalist and feel obligated to host everyone at a large table, make some “table talk” cards with questions like: “What is your opinion of U.S. policy in the Middle East (that you will now silently ponder inside your head without saying anything)?”

4. Don’t correct, discipline, or even comment on the behavior of any one else’s kids. Whoever said “it takes a village” also said “keep your mouth shut at gatherings of extended family.”

5. If you need to work through a conflict with your in-laws, don’t talk about it. Instead, challenge them to a battle of strength like arm wrestling or kickboxing. (I can usually take my mother-in-law in four or five rounds of traditional jiu-jitsu.)

6. For the single adults in your family who often get upset when asked about their future prospects for marriage, go the extra mile by surprising them with a blind date/potential mate of your choosing. They will surely appreciate the gesture. (For an extra special Christmas gift, a one month subscription to eHarmony would be a nice touch.)

7. If you begin to feel your emotions rising due to a particular issue or a difficult relative, give yourself a little personal space. I recommend the Caribbean.

8. Because memories can be filled with painful emotions, don’t ever talk about the past. Keep conversations centered on shallow and entirely meaningless current events. Like the Kardashians.

9. If conversation lags, don’t make the rookie mistake of saying something like: “I’m voting for _____ in the primaries because all the other candidates are idiots.”

10. Finally, if your family is made up of a high percentage of crazy people, you might consider changing your name and moving to a different country. If you have an opportunity to enter the witness protection program, you should definitely take advantage of that.

A More Realistic Suggestion

Let’s face the truth: nothing can fully eliminate the potential conflicts that might arise when big families come together. The awful advice in this list probably won’t work in most cases.

We love our families and we can always hope and pray that this year’s holiday will be filled with peace, joy and precious new memories. Perhaps the best way to make that happen is by basking in the grace that God offers us and then choosing as an act of our will to offer that same grace to our families.

It also might help to lower the bar on our holiday expectations for our Imperfect and Normal Families. If we are hoping things will go perfectly (even if they never have before) we are probably setting ourselves up for failure.

Finally, as your family holiday gathering draws closer, ask God to show you exactly what it looks like for you to obey His command in Romans 12:18. Paul writes: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Let’s cast aside our excuses & our need to be right and do whatever we must do to have a peaceful, conflict-free family gathering this year.

And if you decide to forget it all and instead head for the Caribbean, let us know. We might want to come with you.

Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded by Barrett and Jenifer JohnsonAfter serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett served for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for 8 years as the Family Minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

RECENT ARTICLES

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us,...
Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

Pin It on Pinterest