Ask Kim recommends openness during family conflicts over the holidays

Page 2 Advice
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Dear Kim,

The holidays might be a joyful time of year, but not for everyone.  My family is going through some difficult times.  There are family members who aren’t seeing eye to eye and it has become very stressful.  This disagreement is causing some family members to not attend holiday get-togethers with the rest of us.  How should we proceed?  It feels like part of our heart is missing.



Dear Sherry,

You my friend are absolutely correct.  Not everyone is feeling merry and bright as the Christmas holiday rolls around.  Families all over the world are experiencing a variety of stressors that can dim the warmest holiday feelings.  It can seem that some people go out of their way to make others unhappy this time of year!

Seriously though, the holiday season can be very stressful even without the added family drama.  I know that I tend to over-do things.  I want everything to be perfect for everyone else.  Because of that, I can find myself overwhelmed and not truly getting to “enjoy” what I’ve worked so hard to create.  Throw in an unhappy family member, and I’m really stressed.

Holiday celebrations typically center around the rituals of our family and community.  When those rituals become altered, it can be hard for us to accept the changes.  Change in all parts of our life are inevitable.  I’m going to mess up this quote, but it goes something like this – “The way it was, is not the way it is.  The way it is, is not the way it’s going to be.”  Time alters everything.  Change happens.

You absolutely should get together.  There’s strength (and comfort) in numbers.   Speak to each other about what’s going on.  Share your sense of loss over this conflict.  You might not be able to resolve the issue, but you’re all in the same boat.  Hold each other close and let people know how much they mean to you.

Best wishes to you and yours.

Have a question?  Ask Kim!

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