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Learn how to avoid awkward arguments and conversations with your family members this holiday season. (Photo via Flickr Creative Commons user Connie)

How to handle holiday family gatherings

The holidays can be a magical time to spend with friends and family. However, there may be previous stress within the family from past holidays increasing the strain every holiday that follows. After spending the past semester away from home, they are full of questions and concerns about school, the future and they love to compare the cousins or grandchildren. Here are some tips on how to handle the most common family issues faced during the holiday season:

Political debates

It is best to stay out of political debates at all costs. Try to change the subject or make the choice to leave the conversation. No matter what, there is no way to change the political beliefs of your uncle.  

Questions about your future

Fake it till you make it. Say what you need in order for family to drop the questions about the future. Don’t talk about changing your major or the classes that did not get the best grade this semester.

When are you going to get serious?

Internships and volunteer work is serious. Explain to them that they should support what you are doing with your career and the work that is being done, even if it is unpaid.

Comparing family members

It’s hard to be compared to a family member who is a doctor or lawyer, but remember that your mom will always love you even if your cousin is doing amazing.

Judgement of clothing and hygiene 

Going to class wearing pajamas became a normal thing during the semester. When staying at home, the family might not understand why you did not change into actual clothes or do your hair. Make your parents happy and dress up for appropriate holiday parties because soon enough you will be back on campus in sweats.

Questions about your significant other or lack thereof

There is no need to inform family about a significant other or the lack of one. As a college student, there should be no rush to find someone to spend the rest of your life with and frankly grandma should not be concerned about grandchildren when you have not even graduated yet.

While the holidays might be a challenging time, make new memories because in a few short weeks everyone will be headed back to campus for another semester filled with work.


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