A Christmas Debriefing
This is a guest post written by Jenifer Giles, a relationship coach specializing in couples coaching, pre-marital and marriage consulting. Visit her website at jenifergiles.com. Have a relationship question for Jenifer? Use our contact form to send it in and she will answer it in a future post.
Well, how did your Christmas go? We had a blast. It was interesting seeing all the different family dynamics and I have to say we all generally got along great.
This year we were blending three distinct family traditions into one experience that would be fun and meaningful for everyone so some people got their needs met and I’m sure some didn’t. We were also catering to a range of age groups from a 2 year old to a grandmother, passing through a 17 year old. Quite an eclectic mix but typical for these types of family gatherings.
As the designated cook of the Christmas dinner my main focus was on what food everyone counted as traditional to them. Of course, being the cook, I was intent on not pushing my capabilities, which are decidedly on the modest side, and ending up with a culinary disaster.
I did something this year I had never done before. I cooked everything, other than the turkey and gravy, and I mean everything, the day before. Wow, what a difference it made. Usually by the time the dinner is served I’m an exhausted mess and ready for everyone to push off home so I can go and slump. Doing it in advance made it totally stress free and I was able to have a fun Christmas day.
Just thinking about what else made Christmas so relaxed this year I think everyone being prepared to speak up and ask for what they wanted was so important. It’s easy to be silent in the interest of “being nice” and then everyone else has to guess at what people want – AAGH! so frustrating.
Mind reading might be fine as a circus trick but really is not helpful in relationships. Of course the other side of that openness is the willingness to be flexible when our needs collide with someone else’s and being prepared to negotiate.
All in all it’s really about coming with a great attitude and the expectation that you’ll have fun! And we did. Did you?
photo credit: iwona_kellie