Tips on Avoiding Family Confrontation During the Holidays
Holiday gatherings are both a long-awaited tradition and dreaded aspect of the season. Celebrating with an extended family often involves meeting relatives you rather not deal with. Even your closest family members may share political views you disagree with or find ways to turn conversation into unwanted criticism and questions.
While you can’t stop someone from sharing their views, you can make a game plan to respond to any unwanted conversion and keep the holidays centered around companionship and appreciation.
Keep a Distance
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, health experts recommend celebrating from afar. This may receive some backlash from family members who do not believe gathering poses a threat, especially if others quarantine prior. However, new studies show that getting together indoors can lead to the spread of the coronavirus, even if people wear masks and practice social distancing.
Arrange virtual holiday celebrations instead. You can open presents on video chat, stream holiday specials and even bake cookies together while Facetiming. You have a right to keep you and your family healthy and safe this year, even if other relatives do not agree. The best thing you can do if they criticize your choice to not attend any gatherings is to say you value their well-being as much as your own, so you’re keeping your distance and wishing them well even if you aren’t together.
Hold Gatherings on Rotation
You might decide to meet with certain family members at different times. Couples may visit each other’s parents on different days, and friends may choose to get together for a drama-free celebration. One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary drama is to avoid intermingling with relatives who are prone to arguing with each other. Rather than expecting them to act differently, accept the reality of their differences and find a way to enjoy time with them individually.
Avoid Triggering Topics
Certain subject matter doesn’t have any place in a family gathering. Politics, religion and lifestyle choices, like gender identity and sexuality, should not be brought up during a holiday celebration. This is a time to cast aside differences and embrace people for who they are.
Of course, that does not mean you are subject to tolerating any unwanted abuse or commentary on your life. If there are certain relatives who make you uncomfortable or put you on the spot, it’s okay to decline seeing them, no matter what others have to say about it.
Put Gratitude Before Justification
Being grateful is more important than being right. While it may do your ego some good to best a relative in an argument or get into a heated debate about politics, will that really bring you what you need after such a tough year? As 2020 draws to a close, we must draw closer to what really matters in life.
Families are always going to have their differences. Some are easier to reconcile with than others. By returning to a place of gratitude, you can act with compassion and find the strength to let certain things go in favor of enjoying others’ company.
Caring Heart Counseling can help you navigate the often-stressful holiday season. Together, we can come up with an action plan to cope with difficult relatives and prioritize your peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to book a virtual therapy appointment.
Five Fun Family Road Trips from Denver
Although the coronavirus has changed the way we travel and enjoy vacations, there are still adventures your family can have that keep everyone safe. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, it’s best to avoid any crowded areas with heavy foot traffic such as hotels and theme parks, even those that are open to the public. Instead, take in some of the gorgeous sights Colorado has to offer by planning a family road trip to some of these breathtaking locations a short drive from Denver.
Yellowstone National Park
The trip from Denver to Yellowstone is approximately 10 hours, making it the longest road trip on this list. If your family has a camper or RV, this is a great time to use it. The kids can unwind, play games and have fun during the ride while you take turns driving and enjoying the scenery unfold around you.
The fastest route to Yellowstone from Denver is via Interstate 25 and Interstate 80. On this trip, you’ll move through the picturesque Rockies and roaming landscapes teeming with nature and wildlife.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Around 250 south of Denver lies America’s tallest sand dunes. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to an exotic, faraway land as you gaze upon the dunes. Take a family hike or even go sand sledding; this is an excellent spot to practice safe summer social distancing while still getting to experience something new away from home.
You can cut through Colorado Springs on your journey, which lasts around four hours. If you head out early, this is a great one-day road trip that will have the kids excited all morning and sleeping on the way home.
The Rocky Mountains are one of Colorado’s most beloved natural monuments with numerous hiking trails, scenic routes and wildlife. The Trail Ridge Road is a 48-mile highway that stretches through the mountains and peaks at 12,183 feet. A designated All-American Road, Trail Ridge offers your family ample opportunity to stop and pause to appreciate the view.
The Rocky Mountain National Park driving experience takes your family on an incredible journey surrounded by incredible landscapes and diverse ecosystems.
Driving from Denver to Glenwood Springs will take you through Keystone, Copper Mountain and past the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. The trip spans around two and a half hours, making it ideal for those who enjoy scenic trips but not long car rides. Families with babies or small children will especially benefit from this rewarding but comfortable road trip.
Once you reach Glenwood Springs, you can visit the famous Hanging Lake, which is currently open with social distancing restrictions. The family may simply enjoy taking the trip, singing their favorite songs and basking in the landscapes around them.
A road trip from Colorado to New Mexico makes an excellent weekend getaway. The adventure features plenty of scenery, wildlife and beautiful canyons that illustrate the diversity of both states. The distance from Denver to Santa Ve is around six hours and features plenty of small towns, museums and historical sights in between.
When planning your family road trips, make sure that you plot an itinerary and check the current restrictions for every destination. Getting out in the sunshine is important even during the coronavirus, and road trips offer a safe way to travel that puts nature right in front of you.