How to Avoid Holiday Stress
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We talked with two families about juggling their family relationships during holiday time, and an expert with some great tips on how to avoid the stress.


Rhiannon Ally: If you're getting stressed out just thinking about the holidays, you're not alone. I'm sweating already. We've talked with two families about juggling their family relationships during holiday time and an expert with some great tips on how to avoid all that stress. That’s in today’s Live Better. Holidays with your family may not be this chaotic, but does this feel a little too close to home for comfort? Ray Daudani: It becomes a question of we’re doing Christmas at your place, so now that means we’re doing Thanksgiving at mine which then becomes you losing out on those traditions. Tara Daudani: You know we really try to see both sides of our family and split it evenly, but it’s hard sometimes. Rhiannon Ally: Ray and Tara Daudani both come from different cultural backgrounds. They just married last year and they had two wedding ceremonies. So when it comes to the holidays it’s not always easy trying to please everyone. Tara Daudani: It gets really stressful. I had to do that when Ray and I started dating because Christmas is a priority for my family, so I told my family “Look, I promise you we will always spend Christmas in Ohio, but a lot of times we’re not going to be spending Thanksgiving in Ohio.” Ray Daudani: Well we have this brilliant idea to do Thanksgiving in our apartment this year and have people come to visit us, but we live in a tiny Manhattan apartment, so that’s probably not going to happen realistically. It’s just not going to work. Tara Daudani: But at the same time, I only have big family events a couple of times a year, so to miss out on those it’s missing out on a lot. Rhiannon Ally: Tricia O’Brien is the feature’s editor for American Baby magazine. She knows just how stressful the holidays can be whether it’s a new baby in the mix or just trying to deal with both sides of the family. Tricia O’Brien: You have to make some compromises you can’t do it like you used to do it. And you have to draw some lines. Ray Daudani: Having our own family and that sort of thing, we actually are starting to wonder at what point do we put out family in front of our careers and that sort of thing. Tricia O’Brien: Once you get married and you start having your own families, you have to decide what are we going to do this year. And so maybe its every other year you spend Thanksgiving with one side of the family or you'll say we’ll travel for Thanksgiving this year, but we’re not going to travel next year. Rhiannon Ally: Another option to avoid the family tug of war… Tricia O’Brien: And I think you can create new traditions like that and when people realize that this is quite good because it’s really the quality time, then they understand and there’s so many other ways to communicate if you're not together at the holidays. You can Skype, which is an amazing thing that people can learn very quickly and there’s just ways to communicate and ways to stay in touch and you can say we’re going to save those presents we’re going to open them all together when you come in January, in February or whatever it is because its so chaotic at Christmas that it becomes so special when you can do things a little later sometimes. Rhiannon Ally: Beth and Phil Corsentino have been married for 16 years, they have two kids, 10-year-old Jack and Ben who is 6. Beth Corsentino: My husband and I were married on Christmas. A) because it’s our anniversary forget the anniversary because it just doesn’t happen because there is so much going on. Rhiannon Ally: Tricia says, “Planning a central location to meet also cuts down on a lot of stress.” Tricia O’Brien: We’re asking you to come to us. That’s often a good example or you can go to one side of the family’s house and invite if the other relatives nearby you can invite them over there. Do sort of an open house type thing. Rhiannon Ally: Something Beth does with her family. Beth Corsentino: Christmas is always at my house because I have little kids. My sister and her husband who have no children, they come and stay with their dog. Tricia O’Brien: Everybody isn’t going to quite get it at first, but I think if you set some boundaries over time people are going to accept that and they’ll be more willing to come to you. Beth Corsentino: It’s usually good until like Christmas Eve and then the tension starts to fly. I'm ready to relinquish my Christmas thrown. Rhiannon Ally: The bottom line when it comes to family functions during the holidays… Tricia O’Brien: Do try to set some boundaries. Rhiannon Ally: Great tips! Tricia says, of course there will be stress when it comes to present overload, so she says make sure you set boundaries in that area as well.