Magazines may portray Christmas as a time of peace and harmony, but we all know it can be a long way from that.
For the fourth article in my Christmas series, here’s ten things to try for bringing harmony to your relationships.
1. Don’t dwell on things. It’s easy to overthink or make things more complicated than they need to be. Learn to let things go.
2. Be realistic. My Instagram feed is full of perfect pictures of Christmas decorating and table settings. The holiday snaps are amazing too. But those are just moments in time, not real life. Stop chasing perfection.
3. Give people space to choose. Create some zones in your house where people can head off and do their own thing. Harmony doesn’t need to have everyone together all the time. And if you live in a small place, use outside options too. It might be a park nearby, or your local coffee shop.
4. Stop judging. We all tend to compare ourselves to other and others to us. Comparing is fine, but it’s when that changes from learning to criticism that it can be damaging. Call yourself up when you’re heading into the judge and jury territory.
5. Keep your basic systems running. The holidays can be a great time to slow down, but don’t let it all go to ruin. Have everyone contribute to the running of the house for a few minutes each day so it feels relaxing for all.
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6. Save your energy for the real battles. When everyone is home for the holidays, it’s easy for conflict to crop up. Don’t get drawn into the skirmishes though. If it’s something that’s not going to matter long term, hold your tongue or walk away.
7. Unplug from the world. Take a break for part of each day or for one whole day from our hyper-connected world. Don’t waste the slower pace of the holidays for the chance to spend time together.
“A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.” – Hebrew proverb
8. Work together on a project. There’s nothing better than having a common goal to bring harmony. So gather your crew and work out something everyone would like to contribute to and a plan of action to get it done. It needs to be a project everyone buys into though. You can’t just tell them what they’re going to do!
9. Take time to listen to one another. Often we think we’re listening, when we’re really just hearing. Take in what your loved ones say. Mull it over and ask questions. Get to know the sentiments behind the words.
10. Forgive past hurts. At some point you have to realise that no-one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Use Christmas as a time to finish the old year off well and welcome the new one as a fresh start. Just let it go and look forward.
Make this Christmas one where you’re chasing peace not quarrels. From my experience, it just needs one person who’s not going to play along and over time everyone else will give up the fight too. So do it, take the path of harmony today!
Article supplied with thanks to Rachel Doherty from Tweens 2 Teen. Rachel helps those living and working with young people, through supervision, coaching, speaking and consulting.