First Things First

Reducing Holiday Stress

She was excited about her boyfriend meeting her family for the first time. Having headed home earlier in the week, she anxiously awaited his arrival.

She answered the doorbell–and there he was in his blue jeans and flannel shirt. She never imagined that he would not be dressed for the occasion. Her stress level skyrocketed as she imagined the conversation after he left.

Being true to form, he was his fun self during dinner, pretending to bend heirloom silver, telling jokes and sharing funny antics. After he left, nothing was ever said about his clothing or anything else for that matter.

Fast forward to mid-December. Her mom calls and asks if her boyfriend will be coming for Christmas dinner. Her boyfriend was with her and responded that he was planning to be there. The mom then asked, “Will he be dressed appropriately?”

Upon hearing the question, a mischievous grin came across his face and he replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” After ending the call, the girlfriend inquired about his attire. He told her not to worry.

Christmas Day arrived, and when the mom answered the door, the boyfriend was standing there in a huge Santa suit and big mirrored sunglasses. As the mother laughed, the boyfriend said, “Well, I guess some people know how to dress appropriately for the occasion and some don’t.” Thus began an ongoing back and forth between the boyfriend and his future mother-in-law.

The holidays are quickly approaching. Whether you are nervous because that special someone will meet your family or the annual extended family dinner makes you want to skip the holidays altogether, there are ways to take the edge off.

Before jumping into holiday celebrations, consider these suggestions:

At holiday gatherings you can have the best of everything, but a glaring absence of real gratitude for each other misses the mark. Value your time together as a family this year so there will be fewer regrets in the future.



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