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Surviving Your Family During the Holidays

Happy extended family looking at camera at christmas time at homI personally am of the mind that being prepared and organized can help you in just about every possible way. So before I bore you with the "ins and outs" of holiday excess, I want to give you some very important information:  ways to survive your family during the holidays.

Let's face it, by the time we see our families for the actual celebration, our fingers are covered in Band-Aids because they are so burnt up from the obligatory cooking, our backs hurt from all of the gift wrapping, our bank accounts are empty and our credit limits are full.  If that weren't enough, we have to put on the happiest of happy faces for the holiday party.  Let's not even go to sleep deprivation to make sure Santa does his business then see what he brought before dawn.

Is it any wonder that more liquor is sold in December than the rest of the year combined?  Although I wish I could tell you that you can plan away all of your family drama, I'm not a therapist nor am I a miracle worker.  At any rate, I can certainly help you be a happier you.  Here's how:

If you are traveling, hotels are your friends.  They may be expensive but the beds are better than couches, and a little peace and quiet will go a long way to maintain your sanity.  You also won't be required to cook.  An even better friend than Mr. Marriott is your friendly neighborhood FedEx man because he will take the gifts away and deliver them safely to their destination.  This also works extraordinarily well with luggage.  Yes, ship your suitcases and make flights easier.

We all have those family members who say strange things, drink too much, or like to start trouble.  Prepare in advance for this if you know it is coming by enlisting a trusted family member to be your sounding board or even run interference, if necessary.  For me, this would be my sister but you know who would be best for you.  Worst case scenario, plan on being "sick" and stay home.

Finally, stop looking at Pinterest and condition yourself to not hear anything remotely referencing the site in regards to your home, food preparation, or gift wrapping.  We can always do things better but at some point good enough is good enough.  Besides, while you are beating yourself up about what you aren't doing, you could be doing something worthwhile – like wrapping gifts or signing cards.

When dealing with family, remember that everyone is under the same stress with a lot of water under the bridge.  Family is about having a safe place to be who we really are and still be loved when we are weird.  Difficult family members may think you are difficult too.  Embrace your shared experience and refuse to be sucked into drama of any kind.

In short, plan ahead, love unconditionally, and be true to yourself.

Have a neat day,
Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

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About the Author

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

My name is Jennifer Snyder CPO, Chief Executive Organizer of Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, a Waco-based company of Professional Organizers that is not only focused on organizing the clutter in your home or office but also clutter of the heart and mind. 

I am happy that you are taking an interest in the benefits of getting your home and life organized.  Living an organized life is for everyone!

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