Surviving Christmas Break

Hey, everyone! I apologize for the lag in posts—this week has been a whirlwind of events. I finished my first semester of grad school (with a 4.0! Hooray!), I accepted an internship offer, and I traveled back to Ohio to visit friends and family for Christmas break.

My pup traveled with me to Ohio, of course, so that made my trip a little longer than what it would usually take—he’s small and with that comes a small bladder. After we crossed over from North Carolina into Tennessee, we stopped by the welcome center to stretch our legs.

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The mountains were gorgeous and had just a dusting of snow on the top which was beautiful. My dog didn’t admire the mountains as much as I did, but he did give some undivided attention to the posts along the pet walk trail.

Anyway, I expected a few days just to relax once we got to my family’s house, but, boy, was I wrong. I’ve run around every day since I’ve been back and I am exhausted already. I don’t make it back to my hometown too often and, when I do, there are always a million events to go to and plenty of people to see. I can already see the need for a break from my break.

If you’re like me, you probably struggle to make it through all of your holiday obligations. Here’s some tips to survive all your holiday events and make your time with your family more enjoyable:

  • Don’t buy-in to the drama: We all have that one family member who thrives on creating problems out of nothing. You know, the one who stirs up drama and then places all the blame squarely on your shoulders? Don’t encourage them; if they are intentionally trying to get a rise out of you, which they undoubtedly will, ignore them and strike up a conversation with a less stressful member of your family. If the drama-lover won’t stop talking, just ignore them—trying to argue with them will only be a losing battle, so just let them talk. Once they realize they aren’t getting a rise out of you, they will move on.
  • Be okay with being wrong: If someone is arguing with you and insisting that something you said or something you did was wrong, sometimes it’s just better to agree that you were wrong and let them have their small victory (even if you were right). There’s a saying by Katherine Miracle perfect for this type of situation, “When you have a disagreement with a loved one, I challenge you to say, ‘I love you more than this argument.’” Sometimes, the relationship is more important than some trivial matter that you won’t remember later on.
  • escape-planHave an escape plan: Always drive yourself to family events. I do not ride along with other family members because they may want to stay long past the time you are ready to leave a family party. I’ve learned this from experiences of riding with others who decide to stay and play card games until well past midnight when I was ready to leave at 6pm. I’m not an entirely social person to begin with, so I always have a plan ready for why I need to leave by a certain time in case people question why I’m leaving.

Hopefully these three tips will help you survive the holiday events that are sure to fill your calendar this month. Enjoy your time with your family and remember this time only comes around once a year. Whether that’s a blessing or you wish you had more time is purely a matter of opinion. Just remember, some folks don’t have any family at all, so listen to your loved ones and let them know you appreciate them. They’ll thank you for it.

Here’s a few more tips to surviving the holidays from Stanford University. If you have some tips of your own, share them in the comments!

“Escape Plan” image: Forrest Cavale,