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What tips do you suggest for stress-free holidays?

I am bipolar and the holidays are one of my triggers. It's some thing I can't just turn off. Thanksgiving pretty much makes me nuts. My family is pretty laid back and organized. Dinner is planned, we discuss what to bring, when to show up. In laws are the complete opposite. So that makes me more frantic. I have tried for years to help get things organized so every one participates and no one is left out. However, no one ever follows through with the things they say they will do, or cook; and no one ever shows up on time or helps clean up. If they would just help out I'd be thrilled. As for Christmas, we can't buy for every one but no one will agree to drawing names so we can participate in gift giving, too. I feel like I should just stay home so I don't bring down any one else. I always have a good time at my own home with our kids, but that's the only time I'm calm. Any tips?


Asked by Anonymous at 4:28 PM on Oct. 27, 2010 in Holidays

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Just stay home, just your family. Cook a nice meal for you and your family to enjoy. If the in-laws get upset, tell them exactly why you chose to do your own thing. maybe then they'll get the point. Honestly, I am somewhat relieved we live too far to be home for the holidays sometimes. It is SO peaceful to be on our own schedule, cook what we want, eat when we want, watch a movie or something with the kids, and just enjoy being with each other rather than worry with the drama that comes with most family gatherings lol. If you HAVE to go, or feel you have to go, then just don't worry about everyone else. Take what you want to eat, clean up your part of the mess, then excuse yourself and go home.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 10:35 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Leave town.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 4:36 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Do what makes you feel good and what is best for your family. Maybe if you guys gracefully bow out of family functions, people will get a clue & be on time.

    Answer by cheekycherub at 4:53 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Well I was going to say " 1 shot Vodka to 4 oz's of Cranberry Juice with a splash of O.J, stir well and enjoy..(many) .LOL...

    Why not have your own dinner at your home, having the in laws come over, this way YOU can prepare things at your
    pace and check and recheck with others what they are bringing and also place a time that dinner will be served no
    exceptions this will make sure that everyone is there on time and if something is forgotten, then you might be able
    to come up with a replacement idea... I usually do ALL of the cooking and if anyone wants to bring something they can,
    but I will have everything for the main meal and several desserts already when they show up ...
    As for the gift part, I have told my family that ONLY the children will get gifts, we can not afford to buy for everyone ...
    I will make tons of cookies for basket treats...

    Answer by gmasboy at 4:59 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • stay home and lock the

    Answer by horsesteelers at 9:51 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • @ gmasboy, We did host one year and it was a disaster. I checked rechecked and checked again with every one on the dishes they would bring. I also planned it around their other gatherings. We set the time for 6. They showed up at 2. SIL failed to tell me the 12 times I asked that her BF's family gathering was at 6 the same day. So SHE called and told eveyr one to show up early for HER. They were griping that the turkey wasn't done, didn't bring a dang thing, didn't help me cook the things they said they'd bring. Their kids destroyed my house, they didn't help clean. They have no problem JUST showing up, but they have a problem with participating with any thing. I'm not doing it all again. I refuse.

    Answer by Mrs.B3 at 5:42 PM on Oct. 27, 2010