10 Ways to Survive Your Family During the Holidays

by Sicily Kolbeck / Dec 03, 2013 / 0 comments

Are there families that get along during the holidays? Possibly, but in my case, no. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. They love me and are funny, and are always there for me, but they drive me absolutely nuts! Up until now, I never noticed how crazy and dysfunctional the Siegel family is. After experiencing the brunt of the craziness (being the only teenager and big cousin to three small cousins), I realized I could not be the only one that needs help being sane around family. For those that are looking for how to make the holiday season less aggravating whilst enjoying your family’s company, doing just a few of the tips below will improve your vacation substantially.


10 Ways to Survive Your Family During the Holidays


Pack earplugs or your ability to block noise out. This depends upon the number of people in your family, and how many children will be there. However, if you have lots of people in your family, there will be a lot of noise. Prepare yourself.


Be Patient. Most likely if you have sought this out, last year your patience wore thin. Just remember, you love them (right?). They do different things different ways. It may not make sense, or be the most effective way, but that’s how it’s going to be done.


Don’t judge. Like I said above, your family does things differently. Don’t judge their actions. They may judge yours (this happened to me), but you need to be the bigger man (or woman) and nip it in the bud. However, if you need to get your judgments out, vent to your mother, sibling, or father. It helps to get it out. But don’t hold it against them if you are being vented to. You love them, remember?


Go With the Flow. Sometimes, especially during the holidays, things don’t go as planned. You may have just dropped the cake it took all day to make, or a snowstorm might have delayed your arrival a bit. Look at it, take a deep breath, apologize, and help clean it up. If everyone is good nature about it, make a joke. Plus, this will make a great story!


10 Ways to Survive Your Family During the Holidays


Go to Sleep. When you sleep, you are in a better mood. This will help you to cope with whatever your family throws at you. Eat, too. Keeping your blood sugar up will help you not to snap at anybody. Nobody wants a sleepy, grumpy monster.


Leave if you need to. This could mean taking a walk, getting coffee, or leaving a day early. Knowing how long you can be with your family will help. Whether it is seven days or two, everybody has their maximum of days before tensions start to rise.


Enjoy your family. However crazy they may be, you know your family is entertaining. So enjoy it. Play with your cousins, have a game of football with your uncles, talk with your grandma. This will help your tensions to ease.


10 Ways to Survive Your Family During the Holidays


Help Out. This may be difficult if you are not an adult (I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen, even though I am a good cook), but there is something. Clear the table after diner. Be the built in baby sitter. Set the table. Dress the kids.


Clean Up After Yourself. This may be a no-brainer, but it needs to be in this list. Doing this will help the adults feel les stressed, and happier. Clean house, clean mind!


Don’t Bring Up Things No One Wants To Talk About. Politics, morals, health (as in saying “You’ve put on a few,” C’mon now) If you know someone’s feelings will be hurt, don’t bring it up.


Bonus for Adults-Don’t Get Drunk. When you do so, things will be said, feelings will be hurt, and the next day you will be in a world of pain. Don’t set a bad example for the children. Please.


There they are! These tips have helped me enjoy my family throughout the holidays, and I hope they will do the same for you. Drink some eggnog, give some gifts, cook some food, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!





Sicily Kolbeck is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Sicily Kolbeck