How to Survive Christmas, New Year’s, and the In-Laws

Category: Weekly Columns

 how to survive

#DadChat is the weekly TweetChat (on Twitter) that I founded and host – often with guest-hosts – every Thursday evening from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT. It has grown to be one of the most popular, busy, and fun chats among the hundreds that exist. On Thursday December 6, I invited our participants to share their tips for surviving the holidays. The idea was simply to compile the best and make a column out of them.

Good idea.

But, there was a problem. There were so many tips and ideas, that choosing the best was impossible. Having Dabney Porte as my very special co-host only aggravated this problem (sarcasm) ‘cause she brought not only her wisdom, but also a great energy and passion for family to our discussion.

Several general themes were present in our discussion and you can read the transcript if you want to see all the 1,200 or so tweets. It became clear that so many families are fractured in one way or another that just the organization and coordination of holiday events can be stressful. It also was clear, among the #DadChat dads and moms, that we all believed our job was to focus on our kids, rather than ourselves and do our best to let go of any resentments, past or present.

So, let’s look at the many wise offerings we gave one another, in no order of importance. Every person will be referenced by their Twitter handle, in the way we participate in #DadChat:

~~@EButtsCPA – Always side with mom since she was the one that took care of us.
~~ @JesseMoore_ – One tip, don’t tell the in-laws they can stop by anytime =).
~~ @DabneyPorte – When I knew I was going to get divorced I decided to redefine my family unit – not end it.
~~ @PeepWise – It’s all about the stocking in our house…we all open them one by one with tons of small wacky gifts…and Chocolate (bacon!).
~~ @Dr_Weberman – Holiday Tip: Attend fam dinners w/ mindset of being entertained, not triggered. Imagine every inapp remark as fodder 4 Ur next blog.
~~ @aDadsPov – Another excellent tip that came up on my radio show today: Manage Your Expectations.

~~ @LoisMarketing – Lose the idea of what’s best for you and your current relationship and consider what’s best for the kids. Lose SoMe too! Note from Bruce: SoMe is Social Media.
~~ @Dr_Weberman – Holiday Tips: Have an answer prepared 4 triggering remarks U know you’ll hear, i.e. “so when R U getting married?”
~~ @JesseMoore_ – Another tip, avoid being the GOTO person for Christmas Trees.
~~ @RaisingGreatMen – My tip is to not get sucked into the madness of a perfect holiday.
~~ @BigBob24266 – Me and my family often don’t have alot at Christmas and instead of giving gifts to each other we donate them.

 ~~ @washparentmag – Yep! Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.
~~ @gingerconsult – We do not sweat the season…we just enjoy the day. For us, it is a day to enjoy each other not the gifts.
~~ @PeepWise – The most fun is in the kitchen cooking all the yummy Christmas cookies – and eating them!~~ @DabneyPorte – If guys play the TASK man over the holidays & forget to toss in some romantic #DivaDust it may not be so merry. Note from Bruce: I fully agree with Dabney.

I got this original poster from It’s a Wonderful Life in the early 70’s for $2.00!

~~ @BruceSallan -Great aid for the holidays: Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” ~~@Gingerconsult – My best tip – kids will remember the time you spent with them more than gifts during the holidays, make memories.

 ~~ @EditMob – Every year tradition on Christmas Eve, I ring a bell for each kid/grandkid – this year 2 great grands.
~~ @azmomofmanyhats – TIP: Write a note to person of why you chose a gift. Story behind it creates value and meaning :).
~~ @BarbaraDuke – My family takes children to help w/meal for homeless on Thanksgiving and invite homeless for Christmas.
~~ @jaymielynnie – We always have fashion shows, put on every item of clothing as we receive it, so I remember when Mom bought me a bra lol.
~~ @EditMob – We adopt needy family and deliver gifts week of Christmas. Taught my family how blessed they are.

 ~~ @BarryBirkett – And there can’t be too much of it! RT @azmomofmanyhats: TIP: Realize that family time is precious.
~~ @HugTrainUSA – TIP: Check in with people you haven’t heard from in a while.
~~ @IanGertler – Traditions: taking my boys to pick a new ornament for the tree together. On Xmas, my wife’s homemade cinnamon rolls! Note from Bruce: I want some of those, please?
~~ @BarbaraDuke – My parents did bitter, I tried not to do bitter. If there is a choice, Choose kindness. Easier on kids.
~~ @SMhostess – I would say…make it about your children first. Everything else…parties etc…fit that in only after. Note from Bruce: This is another Twitter handle for @DabneyPorte who got thrown in Twitter Jail, as did I a bit later!
~~ @Sharon_Silver – Since I’m a kid of divorce, I’d say please make it about the kid. It helps heal the loss.
~~ @Casudi – Make it about people not things.
~~ @jaymielynnie – Put your camera/cell-phone down. Focus on enjoying the moment, not capturing it. Note from Bruce to Bruce: Pay attention to this one!
~~ @BW_Management – Have fun, relax and think like a kid, get on the floor with them and play! Forgive…
~~ @BarbaraDuke – Holidays are about love and family. Remember the reason for the season.
~~ @RaisingGreatMen – Tips: You can’t change your family, so change how your respond to them.
~~ @aDadsPov – Alright, let’s ALL pledge to leave bitterness in the dustbin this holiday season NO MATTER WHAT. Note from Bruce: This is another of my Twitter handles since I was also thrown in Twitter Jail by this point in the chat!

Wow, just curating and choosing these tweets made me realize how important community, family, and learning from one another can be. This is what I love about Social Media. Please add your ideas in the comment section below. There’s no limit to what we can do to support one another!

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