!! Steering Around Holiday Potholes (PART 1)

“The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts ,deeds, and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.” Florence Scovel Shinn

Holidays remind us of past memories, which can be both good and bad. Keep the present holidays central, and be thankful to share it with people you love. Each holiday is unique. It is not possible or necessary to repeat a holiday experience. Embrace each holiday with a renewed spirit. Be fair when dividing your Holiday time between families. It might not be possible to spend your holidays with your children.Holiday time is stressful for everyone. Our expectations are high, and the majority of people are inescapably disappointed when the holidays fail us. Television and the media present us with images of happy, sentimental scenes. They forget to add sleep deprivation, headaches, fussy babies, broken homes, loss of life, sickness, job loss, disagreements, sadness, confusion, distrust, and lack of focus or direction.

We have limited command of our lives, and the holidays constrain us even more. Recognizing the pitfalls of the holiday season does not ensure that all family members will have a wonderful day. It is essential that everyone make his or her own enjoyment. We cannot please others. We cannot be held responsible. When in-laws are a component to be considered, the anxiety is intensified. Recognizing the added burden of the holidays may help to alleviate the pressure of contending with in-laws. There can be Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law dilemmas.

“Don’t forget the small kindnesses and do not remember the small faults.”
Chinese proverb

Where to Spend the Holiday

Most couples facilitate discussions, conflicts, and arguments about where to spend an upcoming holiday. Those who live at a distance must weigh traveling plans. This compounds the anxiety and added distraction of organizing and packing. The mother-in-law may have other children to take into account. Perhaps the daughter-in-law wants to visit her own family. When a couple is still in the discussion stage of the decision, all the facts should be contemplated.

Once a resolution has been made, the plans are constructed and the work completed. When men agree with their wives‟ arrangement, peace and harmony are promoted. It might appear irresponsible of the husband to remain neutral, but if compliance results in a peaceful holiday, then, conceivably, this is a troubleshooting solution. The problem will likely arise again and again without any magical remedy, and friction be-tween the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law may intensify.

Holidays & Gifts

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look at the stars. The best rosebush after all is not that which has the fewest thorns but that which bears the finest roses.”    Henry Van Dyke

A new mother-in-law might put in more effort at securing a time to  spend with her son and daughter-in-law over a holiday. She learns that seeing them at some point during the holiday season is better than not seeing them at all.

Research suggests that most daughters-in-law reserve the first place position for their own mothers while their mothers-in-law accept second place graciously. Feasibly, there is no other compromise that works. Under-standing the dynamics helps everyone. Is this fair? Is there a better solution? The answers are difficult to grasp and likely the questions are ignored.

Most mothers-in-law are happy to be included even if it means second best. Any attempt at coercion by the mother-in-law is not suitable and might only advance future friction.

It is possible that a later dinner date will be more enjoyable and relaxed. Most often, this is not really about winning or losing for mothers-in-law, but how best to have the chance to spend time with their sons and their son’s  wives and  family.

Share memories throughout the year with those you care about and forget what the calendar says. A vacation spent with the grandchildren is just as wonderful as a Holiday time gathering. This quiet time over the summer may be more enjoyable and have less stress. Everything and everybody changes. We can always hope for the best in these changes. Change avoids stagnation. Attempt to keep some traditions but be accepting of the new traditions.

Happy, positive outlooks add to the mood of a holiday get-together. Nix the negative and promote the positive. You will always be a sought after member of the family.

“Each of us will one day be judged by our standard of life, not by our standard of living; by our measure of giving, not by our measure of wealth; by our simple goodness, not by our seeming greatness.” William Arthur Ward

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