New Year’s Eve. Will that be party time at your house? What’s it like when your family gets together? All sweetness and light? Or are there factors or people who may use the function to retread old grudges or regrets? Anyone who may tip the bottle a bit and present My Hyde instead of Dr. Jekyll?
If your family is not exactly The Brady Bunch, you may do well to have ideas for deescalating friction.
Planning a big party or event? Be sure to plan for the emotional aspects as carefully as you plan the menu. If you are the host, be sure not to spread yourself too thin. Set realistic limits, aim for comfort, not perfection. Don’t let yourself get over tired so that you get cranky.
With large groups, keep everyone active rather than sitting around waiting for an argument to erupt. Play games, get outside, throw a ball around. Everyone will be less sluggish, which will put them in a better mood.
Too much togetherness can be smothering. Get away now and then. Even if it is to close your eyes and lay down for five minutes.
Humor is also a great tool for reducing stress and bringing people closer. If things start to get tense, make a joke of it. Or recall amusing incidents that bring on smiles. People won’t remember what was on your menu, but they will remember how you made them feel.
P.S. As the year draws to a close, there is so much to ponder. Our world has been changing under our feet, ready or not. It’s been easy, this year, to get lost and confused. At this time, remember how many times you showed courage in the last year. How often you went out of your way for others. Count your good steps, take credit for them and go forward doing the best you can, in your own little world. It’s what’s expected of you. Happy New Year.