November 25, 2015

November 25, 2015
5 Tips For Surviving Family Holidays

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is packed and ready to leave on our trip but wanted to wish all our American friends a beary Happy Thanksgiving.

Holidays mean having to deal with families. So today I will blog about five tips on surviving your family during the holidays.

Manage Expectations
Much in the way New Year's Eve is never as fun as a random Tuesday night out, family gatherings—and family members—are bound to disappoint if you place heavy expectations on them. Maybe you're hoping your grandmother will gift you something you actually want instead of a random crocheted knickknack? Spoiler alert: It’s not going to happen. Maybe you're hoping you and your brother won't get into a political argument? Also unlikely. Go into the festivities expecting nothing but that your loved ones are going to be themselves. It can be helpful to make a preemptive reassessment of their most irritating traits to best set your expectations (balance it out with a list of redeeming qualities if you'd rather take a more positive approach).

Proactively Defuse
Form strategic alliances with other family members in advance to manage irksome characters or potentially explosive situations. Let's say your sister-in-law is a vegan and you come from a proudly carnivorous family that likes to refer to her as a "crazy hippie" to her face. Ask a couple of people to prepare dishes that are quietly vegan, like this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, so she can partake in the meal without enduring the usual side of snark.

Prepare A List Of Safe Topics
Arm yourself with some conversation-starters that are interesting but not inflammatory. Keep your roundtable light and fluffy like a small-town newscast, and if things appear to be taking a turn for the worse, distract everyone with a pre-selected baby animal video on YouTube.

Escape When you feel you're about to blow, take a time-out instead. We like the drugstore as an excuse to get out of the house. Use aimless aisle perusal to cool down, or pick out a random silly gift for a family member you're not annoyed with. The time away—and the surprised joy of your impromptu recipient—should effectively defuse whatever tension was brewing.

Remember, It's Not Forever
Not to end on a down note, but keep in mind that even the most nightmarish of family events will eventually be just a memory. Appreciate the moments as much as possible. As families grow and change, it can be tougher to get everyone together in one place. Nothing lasts forever—not even your creepy Uncle Bert's creepier come-ons.

Hope you have a beary safe and happy Wednesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab