Rick Baum, a Cincinnati-based psychologist and a freelance writer for Cincy Chic has the following tips for not only surviving the holidays this year, but playing well with the others in his gene pool for years to come.
- Talk to your partner about your expectations.
- See what his expectations are.
- When your expectations match, make sure you both can stick with them.
- If you have differences, be willing to give in (if both of you are willing to give in somewhat).
- Dont pit your family commitment versus his.
- Incorporate your partners traditions when possible.
- Identify what you like about your in-laws.
- If you feel like there is a competition between families, remember you dont have to see yourself as a prize.
- Start your own tradition, but give your family ample notice.
- Try to get everyone together. Modern extended families are smaller and live across the country. Inviting both families may allow for a larger and more satisfying holiday.
- Finally, remember that the Waltons were a Hollywood family. Life isnt perfect.
Baum says this time of year he sees "more mild depression, especially from people that wish their family was more like what they think a family should be," he adds, "Everyone wants a Walton Christmas, but they're not going to get that."
For a more permanent solution, Baum suggests getting to the root of your tension with your partner's parents and resolve the issues before next year.
If that doesn't work, just take separate cars. And yes, Baum actually suggests that.
Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes Granite Spring Model Home
Model: JoAnna Straughn-Moxley, LMT, Symmetry Nutritional Consultant