Saturday, November 26, 2022

5 Christmas Catastrophes -- And How to Avoid Them

Christmas, as we all know, is the most wonderful time of the year. But despite all the holiday cheer, it can also be a minefield of potential stress over delicate family situations and gift-giving etiquette. Here are just some of the scenarios you may be dealing with – and how to handle them:

Sorting a Secret Santa

Many of us take part in a Secret Santa with co-workers or friends at this time of year, but knowing what to get can be tricky. Making a standout Secret Santa gift needs some research. If you aren’t that close to the person, tap up people who are for clues on their interests and what they may like. If you’re connected on social media, look at their feed for clues as to how they spend their spare time and what they enjoy doing.

Dealing with Family Drama

We all want the perfect White Christmas we see in movies, but sometimes the reality is that there are difficult family situations to deal with, like illness, redundancy or divorce. If that is your reality, it’s important to openly acknowledge the situation. Make sure the legal basics are sorted with advice from a specialist like Austin Kemp Family Law Lawyers and then keep the kids occupied with lots of fun festive activities. Don’t pretend nothing out of the usual is happening, but keep the tone as light as you can.

Gifting a New Partner

If you’re in a brand new relationship, negotiating that first Christmas gift can be a challenge. Avoid items that are too high-value or intimate if it's very early days. Instead, think about experiences you’ve shared together so far or plans you’ve made for the near future. Things you can do together, like concert tickets are also a great idea. If you do go for a gift item, keep it small and simple, but totally indulgent. For example, buy just a pair of gloves but make them the finest leather gloves you can find.

The Unexpected Present

No matter how planned you are, there’s always someone you haven’t bought anything for that springs a surprise gift on you. What can you do? Do you re-gift something that’s been given to you? Well, there’s no need to make up an unconvincing lie about something not arriving in the post. Think ahead and buy in a few generic gifts ‘just in case’ – stuff like a selection of nice cookies or any artisan foodstuff. If it doesn’t get given, you can always open it to enjoy with the family.

Dysfunctional Relatives

We all seem to have one relation who can make us feel bad, and Christmas can mean spending time in close proximity to them. SO how to handle those emotionally toxic people? If you can’t avoid them entirely, don’t get drawn into a silent resentment or a shouting match over their behavior. Subtle but firmly reinforce your personal boundaries and show them that their manipulations don’t have the power to affect you. Make sure to give yourself space by going for a quick walk too if it all gets too much. You can do this!

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