Oh, family…this is a tricky topic because every family looks different. Some families get along great, others have tension. Some are toxic and others are entertaining. Challenges can arise when a family has the expectation that because we are family, that means we are all the same. The truth is, while traditions are important and bonds can be strong, families are made up of individuals and none of us are 100% alike.
Even if our family is balanced during the rest of the year, major holidays, traditions, and rituals can cause upset if the expectations surrounding them are not met.
What does your extended family expect of you during the holidays? Write it down.
Now write about how you feel about these expectations. Do you feel they are too much? Too little? Do they drive you crazy? Do you wish it looked different? Write it out. Be honest. And if it’s something that needs to be addressed, start to come up with a plan to address it.
* On the flip side, do YOU have expectations of your extended family? What are they? Do they meet them? Are they fair? Give it some thought and write it out.