There Is Never A Bad Time To Give Your Relationship That Extra Boost! (26:33)
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Relationship Boosters Podcast Episode 11

Chats with Monika: Minimizing Holiday Stress

Deciding Where To Go For The Holiday Season

When you and your partner have family members who are fighting for your time, how do you decide who’s family wins? Is there a winner?

Hopefully you and your partner are the winners!


It is a horrible feeling to know that your partner decided to make plans for the holidays with his or her extended family, and did not consider your thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

  • When you commit to a relationship, there is a shift from your typical traditions.
  • This is a time for you to begin setting rituals for your family system that includes you and your partner.
  • The discussions should occur with you and your partner before you speak to ANYONE else.  This shows your partner that her or she is a priority.  It also sends the message that you and your partner are a team.


  • During the discussion:
    • Share your desires and concerns about the holiday with your partner.
    • Share the traditions that you enjoyed during your upbringing.  What things are significant for you?
    • This can really help your partner understand why certain rituals are very important to you.
    • Have a plan to work towards compromising.
      • Be Fair


    • Have a conversation with family members to plan for the holiday season as far in advance as possible.  This will help to prepare your extended family for the impending change during the holiday season.
      • If you rotate years, everyone knows when to expect you.
      • Determine the priorities for the family.
        • You can share the holiday, and find a way to spend it with both family units.
          • Go to one household for Christmas morning and the other for Christmas dinner.
      • If you set up a schedule, make sure there is flexibility for emergent situations.
  • Ask you parents how they handled the situation.  This allows your family of origin know that you are having some difficulty with making the decision. It is important that they recognize that you and your partner will make the final decision.
    • Ultimately, this gives your family and your partner’s family the opportunity to feel included in the decision making process.


  • You may not be able to please everyone


  • If this is a difficult topic that can turn into an argument:
    • Plan to have a good conversation.
    • Share that it is not your intention to have an argument.  Go into the discussion with a plan to win.
      • Share your needs with your partner.
  • Be responsible for your own behavior.  You can’t change the behavior of anyone else, but you can change your own behavior and responses.
    • Be aware of the signals that your body gives you when you are becoming frustrated.
      • Do a body scan so you can be aware and have control over your behavior.
        • Are you having pains, tension in your stomach, etc.
    • Engage in relaxation techniques
    • Take a break if necessary

Be a winner! don’t fail to enjoy the holidays by allowing the stress of where to spend your holiday season bring you down.

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