Coping with Family Dynamics During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be the best time of the year. With Christmas movie marathons and Mariah Carey playing on repeat, the holiday spirit is hard to ignore. Filled with family, friends, and togetherness, it seems really hard to find a downside during the winter months (aside from the cold). For some people, though, the holidays can be the hardest.
I’m a child of a single parent and my family isn’t very close, so Thanksgiving through Christmas usually includes me daydreaming of what large family dinners would be like if I had them. I know for a fact I’m not the only one. The holidays can be difficult if you don’t get along with your family, or if they aren’t around, no matter what the reason is. No family is perfect, but celebrating can be unbearable for those who feel like strangers in their own homes, or for those that don’t have one to begin with. Fortunately, you don’t have to turn into a recluse every season. There are several things you can do to pick your cheer up from the ground:
Focus On Your Friends:
As the saying goes: friends are the family we get to choose. Spend some time with the people who see you at your bestand worstall year. Hold a holiday dinner at home or your local restaurant, or throw a party! Exchange gifts through secret Santa or white elephant, classic ways to bring spirit into your group of friends, and to yourself.
Treat Yourself
It’s important to remember that if your family dynamic isn’t Christmas card perfect, it isn’t your fault. Don’t spend the holidays placing blame on yourself, and don’t subject yourself to the scrutiny of others. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for who you are from the neighbor down the street to your cousins twice removed. Treat yourself instead, and indulge in the best gift you can receiveself-love. Pour yourself some sparkling cider and curl up on the couch for the countless holiday movie marathons! You don’t have to fill a dining room with noise to get the full experience of the holidays.
Appreciate What You’ve Got
Family is an important theme this season, but so is being thankful. Your definition of “family” might be a little different, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than others. Make sure you take the time to show love to the people who are behind you all year. Someone around you loves and accepts you, so try not to focus so much on those that aren’t around to see you shine.

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