Take your holiday arguments outside

Take your holiday arguments outside

We visited Scotland a number of years ago and hired Jean Blair as our private guide for a day to take us to all the places I had on record where my great-grandmother had lived, as well as my great-great grandparents graves.  It was a wonderful trip and we follow each other on social media.  She posts some amazing pictures and this one captured my imagination. Check them out on her webpage https://travelthroughscotland.com/

What do you think would be happening in this “yard” called Arguments?  My thoughts immediately went to privileged old-English families having disagreements and taking them outside.  Perhaps so the children wouldn’t hear, if it were a couple.  Or so the families wouldn’t hear if the argument was between two men.  It certainly seems like the civil thing to do when one lives in such close quarters on the inner city streets of old England.  Oh, what stories one could make up about the things that may happen in Arguments Yard.

The reality is a bit different.  My research shows that this courtyard was owned by the Argument family way back in mid-17th century.  I suppose it still could have been used for arguments. Right?

I bring up the topic of taking your arguments outside because we are coming up on the holidays, and for some families this can be a stressful time.  As a matter of fact, a recent study claims that 88% of Americans say the holidays are stressful.  Halloween rolls pretty easily, after the discussions of what costume to wear.  Thanksgiving can bring up heated discussions of whether to travel or not, who will host dinner, which family member is the “head cook” and who gets to be the “bottle washer,” never mind which football team to root for.  Then come Christmas…

Christmas can be one of the most stressful holidays.  It isn’t meant to be that way.  Christmas is portrayed as the holiday of peace, joy, love, and family harmony as we all gather ‘round the tree to exchange gifts and sing carols while we drink our hot cocoa (with marshmallows).   And yet, there’s that 88%.

Christmas stress can come in many forms:

  • Financial
  • Relational
  • Time
  • Doubt

Here are a few tips to help you navigate these stressors:

Plan ahead for Christmas spending.  You can start a Christmas fund and put money into it each paycheck or put things on layaway and pay in small amounts.

Don’t buy tons of expensive gifts.  The idea of gift giving is in the act of giving and receiving, not in the price.  You can make homemade gifts or give coupons for things to do or time to spend with someone.  Remember, the gift of your time is priceless.

If you struggle with certain people that you feel you must see over the holidays, have a plan on how to deal with that.  You can avoid that person the best you can or avoid certain topics with certain people.  Allow yourself to leave the room for a breath of fresh air.  Collect your emotions before returning.  Refuse to shout.  Avoid drama, simply walk away.  Maybe you need to help in the kitchen or get some more eggnog.

Time is the one thing you can’t get back, use it wisely.  You decide (with your significant other if there is one) how you will spend your time.  Family traditions can be a wonderful thing, but they can also be a pain in the neck.  Maybe you don’t want to go to the movies Christmas Day.  So don’t, but let people know ahead of time so they don’t get upset.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Family First.”   When our children were very young we used to travel four states away to be with family at Christmas.  Eventually, we decided it would be nice for the boys to have their presents at home and be at home to play with them.  We quit traveling and stayed home.  DO what you need to do to make Christmas peaceful and enjoyable for your immediate family first.

Doubt can be crushing at any time, but especially so around the holidays.  You wonder if you look nice, if the dish you bring will be a hit, do you dance well enough to get out on the floor, will people like you. Reject those doubts and be you.  You rock any other time, that hasn’t changed simply because it’s getting towards the end of the year.

As to the arguments… if they happen, please take them outside to the Argument Yard.  No one wants to hear your disagreement with another person, especially your children.  Be aware of what you say, and how you say it.  Words have a way of getting out, and then you can’t take them back even if you apologize.  The damage has been done.

We visited Scotland a number of years ago and hired a private guide for a day to take us to all the places I had on record where my great-grandmother had lived, as well as my great-great grandparents graves.  It was a wonderful trip and we follow each other on social media.  She posts some amazing pictures and this one captured my imagination.

What do you think would be happening in this “yard” called Arguments?  My thoughts immediately went to privileged old-English families having disagreements and taking them outside.  Perhaps so the children wouldn’t hear, if it were a couple.  Or so the families wouldn’t hear if the argument was between two men.  It certainly seems like the civil thing to do when one lives in such close quarters on the inner city streets of old England.  Oh, what stories one could make up about the things that may happen in Arguments Yard.

The reality is a bit different.  My research shows that this courtyard was owned by the Argument family way back in mid-17th century.  I suppose it still could have been used for arguments. Right?

I bring up the topic of taking your arguments outside because we are coming up on the holidays, and for some families this can be a stressful time.  As a matter of fact, a recent study claims that 88% of Americans say the holidays are stressful.  Halloween rolls pretty easily, after the discussions of what costume to wear.  Thanksgiving can bring up heated discussions of whether to travel or not, who will host dinner, which family member is the “head cook” and who gets to be the “bottle washer,” never mind which football team to root for.  Then come Christmas…

Christmas can be one of the most stressful holidays.  It isn’t meant to be that way.  Christmas is portrayed as the holiday of peace, joy, love, and family harmony as we all gather ‘round the tree to exchange gifts and sing carols while we drink our hot cocoa (with marshmallows).   And yet, there’s that 88%.

Christmas stress can come in many forms:

  • Financial
  • Relational
  • Time
  • Doubt

Here are a few tips to help you navigate these stressors:

Plan ahead for Christmas spending.  You can start a Christmas fund and put money into it each paycheck or put things on layaway and pay in small amounts.

Don’t buy tons of expensive gifts.  The idea of gift giving is in the act of giving and receiving, not in the price.  You can make homemade gifts or give coupons for things to do or time to spend with someone.  Remember, the gift of your time is priceless.

If you struggle with certain people that you feel you must see over the holidays, have a plan on how to deal with that.  You can avoid that person the best you can or avoid certain topics with certain people.  Allow yourself to leave the room for a breath of fresh air.  Collect your emotions before returning.  Refuse to shout.  Avoid drama, simply walk away.  Maybe you need to help in the kitchen or get some more eggnog.

Time is the one thing you can’t get back, use it wisely.  You decide (with your significant other if there is one) how you will spend your time.  Family traditions can be a wonderful thing, but they can also be a pain in the neck.  Maybe you don’t want to go to the movies Christmas Day.  So don’t, but let people know ahead of time so they don’t get upset.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Family First.”   When our children were very young we used to travel four states away to be with family at Christmas.  Eventually, we decided it would be nice for the boys to have their presents at home and be at home to play with them.  We quit traveling and stayed home.  DO what you need to do to make Christmas peaceful and enjoyable for your immediate family first.

Doubt can be crushing at any time, but especially so around the holidays.  You wonder if you look nice, if the dish you bring will be a hit, do you dance well enough to get out on the floor, will people like you. Reject those doubts and be you.  You rock any other time, that hasn’t changed simply because it’s getting towards the end of the year.

As to the arguments… if they happen, please take them outside to the Argument Yard.  No one wants to hear your disagreement with another person, especially your children.  Be aware of what you say, and how you say it.  Words have a way of getting out, and then you can’t take them back even if you apologize.  The damage has been done.

#StressLess  #ChooseJoy  #FindPeacefulness