How Do You Find the ‘Merry’ in Your Family Christmas?

Kelly LeCouvie
Kelly LeCouvie

Family members that work together spend many days of the year dealing with business challenges, some of which have been particularly difficult since 2009. Then the holidays arrive and for some, the thought of spending Christmas together presents additional stress.

Here are a few suggestions that might help your family enjoy the holidays together:

  • Be mentally prepared. Holidays create stress and it often affects our behavior. We might be less patient, suffer from tension headaches, and react negatively to others.  Prepare yourself to react positively to others. Pause before you respond to comments that might create conflict.
  • It’s likely that you know what triggers negative reactions and anger among family members, particularly if you work together in the business.  Avoid those triggers.
  • Manage alcohol intake. One too many drinks might prompt an inappropriate comment or tone. If other family members are drinking in excess, it might be a good time to leave the party.
  • Use these family occasions to celebrate successes in the business. What happened in the last year that was positive for the business, shareholders, employees, and customers?
  • Spend time apart while visiting with family. While the primary objective is to enjoy time together, sometimes that is best accomplished by planning some time out (even for a drive) by yourself, or with your nuclear family.
  • Take advantage of an opportunity to visit community beneficiaries of family philanthropic initiatives.
  • Have some fun! Remember that in theory, this is one of your primary objectives. Take the time to relax and appreciate your family. They might even re-energize you for a better 2012!

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