The Celebration- Twas The Fight Before Christmas
by Darren and Jeanette Radley
Where has the year gone?!” A familiar comment that is made just before the ‘silly season’ commences. Like a meeting at the UN the tension is palpable as relatives from far and wide come together. Some may have grudges buried deep within for decades, released in no time by a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately, police and support services have to respond to a spike in family violence over the Christmas and New Year period.
What can you do to keep your cool when the turkey is burning and feisty Auntie Jo is in the background spoiling for a fight with cantankerous Uncle Mo? Firstly, remind yourself that the Christmas dinner/lunch will come and go and will just be a moment in time before it passes and you are back to normal life again. Manage alcohol consumption, especially if there will be problem drinkers, by making less available and ensuring that non-alcoholic options are at hand.
If children are present, make the day child focused, and tactfully encourage others to do the same as this is likely to assist the adults to practice more self-control.
Have someone on the day who can be your ‘Switzerland’ (a level-headed person with good social and diplomatic skills) and has the presence of mind and composure to intervene early with Jo and Mo. Direct your Switzerland to keep testy people apart and busy with jobs.
It can also help to visualise before the day how you will feel, how you will act and what you will say. Rehearse scripts in your mind about what you may say to Jo and Mo, “Can someone help me with the turkey?” So that on the day your mind has rehearsed how to respond and allow you to automatically take charge. Above all, relax, be in the moment, and enjoy yourself!
Darren Radley, Relationship Counsellor & Sex Therapist ; Jeanette Radley, Psychotherapist/Counsellor & Mediator
The EPICentre at 160 New Town Road, New Town.
P: 6228 5535 www.theepicentre.net.au