By Miss Pollyanna, 19th December 2015

Festive Family Feuds

...and How to Avoid them!

…and How to Avoid them!

First Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. Hurray! We’ve finally entered the fun and frolics filled time of the year – when Dad gets out his reindeer jumper, Grandma gets squiffy and abrupt over her thimble of Sherry, the kids smash mum’s prize-winning crystal trifle bowl after guzzling one too many chocolate coins… and the dog is perhaps trying to tell us something deep and meaningful as she hovers beneath the table, perpetually vacuuming up the crumbs.

But there is another way.

Yes, with a little forward planning of the most basic – and, admittedly, unusual kind – you can enjoy the most entertaining (in a good way) holiday season ever. And I’m going to talk you through it in 5 simple steps. It costs no money… just a little open-mindedness and trust:

1) Pre-pave
Those who frequently and consciously indulge in the Law of Attraction will know where I am going with this. And there’s a reason this super effective technique is listed as my number one recommendation. The art of pre-paving isn’t anything new though. Athletes have been using it for centuries in preparation for their events, public speakers and comedians regularly indulge in it to hype them up for big audiences.

In fact, you will have subconsciously used this process over and over yourself; more often than not in a fear-based way. ‘Cos fear is what our egos like. But anyway, simply put: pre-paving is the harnessing of the power of our imagination to play out our preferred scenario.

So let’s say we have an awkward/rude/ignorant/flippant brother-in-law… or two, and Christmas day is going to involve spending several hours in said idiots’ company. How can we possibly make it better without resorting to Yule Log or Stilton abuse?

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Well, we can do what we usually do and dread the event more and more over the coming days and weeks (thus sending a mammoth and snowballing signal out to the Universe that we want Christmas day to go partridge in a pear tree-shaped), or we can write our ideal script ourselves in our heads. We just need to close our eyes for a couple of minutes and genuinely feeling the festive cheer as we picture our family sitting together around the table, playing out the dialogue that we would like.

Ultimately the Universe is responding to our vibration now – our feeling – and so the more we can genuinely reach for the feeling of good cheer about being around these people, the better our Christmas day gathering will be. So if we want to see a better Christmas movie, we need to re-write the scene. It’s completely a case of mind over matter.

sad xmas

2) Forgive grudges
It is a hard one, I know. Oh, I know. But its effects are so far reaching that we cannot even begin to comprehend the magic forgiveness weaves. Not just in our immediate lives, but in terms of our health, wealth, and well, everything. Here we are specifically talking about family festivities.

We are human beings, we have pissed one another off, fought, fallen out and bickered more times than we have actually gathered around the table for a Thanksgiving dinner. So whoever you have a bee in your bonnet about from your particular posse: do like Elsa and ‘Let It Go’. Like now.

Blame, guilt and all the rest of it only hurt the sender. It doesn’t matter what you perceive that ‘somebody has done to you’. Anger at another is akin to holding a hot coal; you are the only one who gets burnt. Instead – and okay, this one definitely requires all of your will and oodles of imagination – close your eyes and imagine yourself giving that certain someone THE BIGGEST HUG. You’re not going to feel this working straight away, no. Definitely not. I can tell you from experience.

In fact, all you will initially feel is buckets of resistance. But try doing it over and over, several times a day, just for a few seconds… then build up to a minute or so. It does get easier. It does feel more genuine. It does soften the heart. It does work.

Put it like this: you will know it has worked when you see a sign in your outer world. You may ‘just happen’ to walk down the street and pass said person’s lookalike. This has happened to me and it’s an exercise worth doing just to go ‘Woahhhh! That’s pretty freaky, yet incredible… and I did that. I did it!‘.

Alternatively, you may get a lovely phone call from that person out of the blue, or somebody else might do you an unbelievable kindness – the sort which takes your breath away. This is the magical thing about the Universe. It listens always to what you are giving out and matches it back to you in ways you could hardly believe it could conjure up.

So get started now and by Christmas day (or whatever date your social family event falls on), it is my promise that if you truly forgive to the point that you feel it in your heart, you and your former ‘enemy’ will suddenly get on like a house on fire.


3) Look for positive aspects
This follows swiftly on from point 2) because really, it is all part and parcel. When forgiveness seems like a quantum leap away from what is possible, looking for positive aspects is a great exercise to try out instead. All you need to do is take a piece of paper and a pen and write a list of the nice qualities about that ‘annoying’ person.

You may struggle at first but just you keep going until you have two or three. Then leave it. Come back to your list the very next day and really think about those qualities you admire in said person. If you get ‘writers’ block’, just go general and write something upbeat and positive about anything. It could simply be, ‘Today’s a sunny day‘, ‘I am so happy the kids left for school on time this morning‘, ‘Yippee, we have a tax rebate‘, or ‘Fabulous! Now my highlights are done I can only see five grey hairs…‘. There’s no right or wrong.

I would recommend doing this for a good two weeks in the build up to your family event and you will not only perceive more positive events ‘randomly’ coming into your life, but you will get a sign from former annoying person confirming that, actually, they are really rather nice.

christmas bubble

4) Shield yourself in an imaginary bubble
If you can imagine yourself completely surrounded by a soft happy bubble of joyfulness, and stay there, your buoyant mood will naturally deflect any negative shit. So any time anyone makes a less than positive remark about anything – either to you or to somebody else – imagine that remark bouncing off your bubble and going back from whence it came.

Actually, in LOA terms, that’s exactly what it will do… return itself to the sender in some future shape or form. But you don’t need to get involved. You stay on your high flying disc and enjoy yourself. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. And by being a beacon of Christmas light, your radiant glow will far outshine any of the doom and gloom being traded over the turkey.

5) Time out!
Now this is kind of the last resort motel, but it is also a good tactic to throw into the mix just to keep the equilibrium. When you sense you are reaching your limit of being cooped up indoors in an overheated house with a room full of family who’d rather discuss politics than party hats; when other people’s teenagers repeatedly make you play Twister on a full stomach/throw their toys at you/put Justin Bieber on replay to the point that you want to reach for the entire Brandy bottle, it’s always better to get out before you hit out!

Yes, it’s nothing short of amazing what a quick brisk stroll in the – hopefully – winter’s sunshine can do. You might want to go all out and roll your frustration up into snowballs too (should you be lucky enough to have more than a scattering of the white stuff).

The key is to do whatever it is that allows you to let off some of that pent-up festive steam; the kind that is almost palpable and emanates from many a home where for too many hours, with too much access to sugar AND alcohol, a group of rellies have been coerced into playing the Happy Family charade.

Now go enjoy. Enjoy! And remember: Christmas is but once a year.

Well, Hallelujah for that…

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