Keeping the Peace During the Holidays

- Hopefully your holidays are blissful and the only disappointment you experience is when all of your loved ones leave, but it's possible that navigating through the holiday season with your family relationships unscathed might be a challenging adventure. 

Dr. Sarah Vartabedian is a communication expert and professor at WTAMU; she has some tips for maintaining harmony during the holidays.  She says to remember that  the holiday season will end and that you can develop coping strategies:

- Make sure that good relationships are the first priority.

- Keep people and problems separate.

- Pay attention to the interests that are being presented.

- Listen first; talk second.

- Highlight areas of agreement.

There are also some practical pointers that should help:

- Think about the topics that might cause friction and avoid them. Warn unsuspecting family members as well.

- Be realistic about your family, who they are, and how the holidays typically unfold.

- Call a temporary truce on family conflict

- Play your part in the tradition.

- Maintain a sense of humor.

Dr. Vartabedian also offers these practical tips for saving your sanity:
- If your family tends to have spats, be careful about supplying copious amounts of alcohol.
- Share responsibilities with others.
- Take care of yourself.

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