Hosting a Christmas party can be hectic at times especially when you are hosting family members who haven’t met each other for a long time. You don’t know what has changed between them? or what they like and so we present some facts we got from christian today on how to reduce conflict and maximize the fun.
1. Discuss logistics ahead of time. Misunderstandings can often arise when family members have different expectations. So talk to each person in advance to find out what they are hoping will happen on the day. You may have to manage expectations if what they want just isn’t possible.
2. Agree timings with everyone. If family gatherings tend to be stressful I’d recommend limiting the time spent together. Better to leave everyone wanting more, and hopefully still smiling, than to allow too much time for emotions to boil over and for people to say things they may later regret.
3. Anticipate and reduce sources of conflict. Think about who upsets whom or what normally provokes discord in the family and try to reduce the triggers. You won’t be able to predict every argument or upset but it is worth making an effort to remove any obvious catalysts. For example, if there’s an uncle who gets over excitable, rude or boring after too many drinks, make sure the bottle isn’t too accessible.
4. Keep everyone occupied. Give yourself a break and others something to do by sharing out the jobs. If people are busy it will help them feel that they are contributing, but it will also mean that they have something to do if they are feeling awkward or uncomfortable.
Introducing games or a theme is another way to give people a focus. I recently read about a family who asked everyone to dress in blue, the decorations were all blue and they drank blue drinks. Apparently it gave people a talking point and the feared arguments between various ex-partners were miraculously avoided.
5. Choose to love. Sometimes it is worth actively choosing to love our difficult family members, even when we really don’t feel like it or don’t believe they deserve it. What better time than the season of goodwill to offer grace to others? We can’t change our tricky relatives but we do have the power to alter the way we react towards them. Ask God to give you the grace to react in a different way.
6. And finally, don’t expect perfection. If things go wrong – as they probably will – keep your sense of humour. There’s nothing like having a few laughs to break the tension.