Come the holidays, there are always those relatives or friends that are pressing you for information, or pressuring you to buy “good” presents, or there’s just tension between some people for personal reasons. How do you navigate these situations? The holidays are supposed to be about celebration and fun, not stress and anxiety.
When family members start questioning your life choices, along the lines of: “When are you getting married?” “What are you going to do after school?” “Why aren’t you dating anyone right now?” “When are you going to have kids?” “Why haven’t you found a new job?” and so on. These can be personal, and stressful questions that you are not obligated to answer. What you should do is be very vague and not get too personal, and redirect the topic by asking your family a question at the end of your statement.* For example: “When are you going to have kids?” your answer could be “I’m working very hard on my career, and I want to travel a bit more before settling down. By the way, how are your kids doing?”*
The stress of trying to find “good” gifts for those who are very judgmental of what they receive need not be a problem anymore. If there are some picky people to gift for in your life, go broad and generic with your gift purchases. Edible or drinkable items are god, but knowing what the person likes is good to get for someone who is difficult to buy for. Most likely, those tricky gift givers would use hand soap, and again, go very broad with scents, and maybe opt for a “clean” or “fresh” scent. Gift cards are always great too, especially places like Target where you can find anything there!
Tension can always arise between family members that are in a fight, or a divorced couple who come to the same event. Be respectful, it has to be hard to be at the same party as someone you aren’t too fond of, so don’t air anyone’s dirty laundry and go around gossiping about other people’s personal lives. You want them to have fun just like everyone else, so don’t press them for any information or egg them on to be upset, they want to have a fun night out and celebrate with you!
*Citation: Kimberly Fusaro, “Navigating Awkward Holiday Situations” Woman’s Day, November 25, 2013, http://www.womansday.com/relationships/family-friends/advice/a4298/navigating-awkward-holiday-situations-100658/