Surviving the holidays when there is family drama

I hope this isn’t true for your family. But many people find the holiday season to be the hardest time of year. From Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day, there are numerous holidays that are meant to bring family and loved ones together. 

But what if your family is filled with drama, conflict, or pain?

What if your loved ones are gone, hurting, or angry?

No matter what your family situation is during this holiday season, you can survive the holidays and embrace God’s presence. 

Yes, we focus culturally on the family experience of the holidays. And families are an integral part of God’s creation. But ultimately, these holidays are about him and for his glory. 

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks openly for God’s great blessings. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus and all God has done to bring us peace. New Years is a time to celebrate what God is doing, what He has done in the past and what we look forward to in the future. Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, which first and foremost we see in Jesus’s death on the cross on our behalf. 

Here are five tips for surviving the holidays when there is family drama and difficulty:

  • Cry out to God. He understands the hurt and He wants to offer comfort and direction. 
  • Say no to some things. You may need to avoid certain holiday parties or have a quieter celebration this year. That’s okay. 
  • Celebrate what you can. Enjoy your favorite food, favorite movie, or some other aspect of the holidays that is not impacted by family drama. 
  • Give gifts. Perhaps not to your family, but give gifts to homeless shelters, to the Angel Tree families, or to other worthy causes in your community. 
  • Pursue healing. Our God is a God of forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation. You may be grieving or angry, but the holidays often soften our hearts and may allow for conversations that couldn’t happen any other time of year. Pray, plan, and then reach out where you can.

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Communications Director