Seven Tips to Surviving the Holidays With Your Family

The holiday season is upon us. I love this time of year but with it comes the possibility of two very opposite outcomes. It can be a time of good food, family and fun or it can be a time of food poisoning, family feuds and fiascos.

It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving (I’m sure retail marketers have a name for it to lure us into the mall). Many will hit the road or air this weekend to begin their journey to visit their loved ones (or loathed ones).

So I figured I’d share some tips with you that I’ve learned from experience, ahem, I mean that I heard others share about (I’m safe saying this since my family doesn’t ever read my blog. This is actually a test to see if I can get any of them to share a comment.)

blog photo - surviving the holidays

  1.  Be Unsocial on Social Media – I know it’s tempting to send your bestie a pic of Aunt Bertha’s “outfit”. However, looking into your phone instead of the eyes of the person next to you on the couch puts insecurity into those around you. Focus on them, not your gadgets.
  2. Limit the Wine – I enjoy a glass of wine as much as the next. Even though it’s tempting to go for another (and another) to help make Crazy Uncle Bubba’s “stories” funny, it also can lower your filter and we all know what happens.
  3. Limit the Whine – We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t whine but shine.” It can be annoying to hear this in stressful situations but it does make a stressful situation, uh, less stressful.
  4. Get Sleep – I’m not saying sleep-in while Big Mama cooks breakfast for you. Make an effort to get to bed at a decent time instead of watching YouTube videos (Hello – reread #1).
  5. Get Off Your Butt – As tensions get tense (How’s that for wordsmithing?) a 30-minute walk can do wonders.
  6. Retreat – Extroverts may flourish in crowds but many of us are introverts. Be aware if you need to go MIA for a few. You may miss out on a few of Crazy Uncle Bubba’s stories but your sanity is worth it.
  7. Work for Peace – Peace is not something that happens passively – we must work for it. Matthew 5:9 tells us, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”

Okay my friends – the holidays can bring about a flood of emotions – both good and bad. Keep in mind some of those around us may be spending it alone or without a loved one for the first time. The fact that you are with others is a huge blessing for which we are to be grateful.

May your holidays be great and filled with joy. Love those around you and reach out to those who need to be loved.

Do you have other tips to help us make the holidays filled with love?


  1. Excellent! I’m going to try to do these this holiday season. Thanks for the tips! Interestingly enough, the odd #’s are the ones I need to work on the most. I guess I’m just an “odd” kind of girl 😉

    • Laurie Russell says:

      Thanks Kathy! Too funny on the “odd” numbers. I promise I didn’t plan it that way!ha ha Hope the tips help out. Sad thing is not even 1 hour after I posted this, I found myself struggling/tempted to participate in whining. I guess it’s one of those things I’ll have to remind myself over and over. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. Anna McHargue says:

    Thank you for pointing out No. 1 in the No. 1 spot! This has become my new pet peeve over the years. I don’t travel a thousand miles so that I can see the top of your head as you stare into your phone all day. (That sounded pretty whiny, sorry.) And, thanks for giving us introverts an out. After a long drive, I do find that I need 5 minutes to myself. I am a much better guest that way! Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!

    • Laurie Russell says:

      Amen to that Anna! I’m with you. Save the gadget time for your introvert time! ha Of course, some times it takes more than 5 minutes of introvert time in order to lessen the whining time and to prevent overindulging in the wining time. hahahaha Okay – having too much fun with this. Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend!

  3. Mark Deaton (Father) says:

    Laurie, these points you covered are so appropriate. It is too bad that all people do not follow them. Much can be revealed during the Thanksgiving meal as well as the holiday visit. Talking less and listening more can be a solution to problems that need to be aired. I feel so blessed that you and your siblings have turned out so well in supporting family members having challenges. You were very instrumental in reaching out to us. God Bless You!

    • Laurie Russell says:

      Aw – thanks Dad! Of course it helps that we had a great role model! And YES! I found another family member who’s read my blog! hahahaha

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