DIY: How to survive holidays with family

As we surge full steam into the holiday season, excitement is imminent. Thanksgiving is in the rear-view, and the final month of 2017 will be filled to the brim with holiday spirit. But with all this buzz comes an equal amount of stress. While spending time with your family is one of the greatest components of winter break, sometimes it can be too much. In order to ensure you and your family’s safety this holiday season, here are some tips to remedy your cabin fever.

Steer clear of politics: We are living in a nation as divided as ever. Every political decision made over the past year has polarized the country, generating the largest partisan divide in our lifetimes. Everyone has an opinion; no one is changing their mind. Unless your family genuinely bonds over political discussions and is capable of holding them in a mature and respectful manner, then it’s best to keep politics out of the conversation. Junior Jay Raichura and his family sometimes discuss political subjects because they share similar ideals, but they try to avoid the divisive topics. “Occasionally we do have discussions about different ideas and it doesn’t usually end well,” Raichura said.

Nothing ruins the holiday spirit more than a hostile shouting match breaking out in your living room. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa, chances are you’ll be spending the break with your family, and keeping the peace will be necessary whether there’s holiday spirit or not.

Play friendly games: Speaking of shouting matches, I would like to put an emphasis on friendly in “friendly games.” Although becoming competitive with your sibling is a common thing to do, try and ease the tension for the break since you will be stuck with them for a while. Few things can bring a family closer together than participating in a good-spirited game. In that same respect, there are not many other things that do a better job of driving a family apart (at least temporarily). Board games, card games, even videos games allow families to have fun and spend time together, but when the competition heats up to an unnecessary level it can lead to chaos.

At the same time, if there’s absolutely no competitive drive in the game, then all the fun gets sucked out of it. There’s a fine line between too competitive and not competitive enough. Once your family can find that happy medium, playing games of any kind is one of the best ways to keep your family bonding interesting. Sophomore Jessica Penry plays the card game 1,000 Miles with her family every year during the holidays. “[Games] have a positive impact on the way my family gets along because it brings us together,” Penry said.

Buy into the holiday experience: Regardless of religious or spiritual background, anyone can take part in almost everything the holiday season has to offer.

Radio stations will be playing all the classic songs on endless loops for your family to listen to; movie channels screen all the holiday hits for your family to watch; countless activities are hosted by the City of Rockville, Montgomery County and likely wherever your family will travel to that will bring everyone together. You can buy gifts for your family and friends (it’s the season of giving, after all), and hope they get you something cool in return.

Senior Viktor Hugelier will be returning to his native country of Belgium to partake in holiday festivities with extended family. “I’m going back to Belgium to see family I haven’t seen in two years. I think the holidays are a great way to see people you don’t often see,” Hugelier said.

The bottom line is that the holiday season is impossible to escape, so you might as well use it as a way to bring your family together.

 

Joe Pohoryles

Front Page Editor

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