The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is the start of the season for my American families. Christmas has it’s own meaning depending on what you believe, but for most people the commonality is a time of connection and togetherness, especially with family, or at least so people hope.

Now, it’s no surprise that some family gatherings turn out to be evenings of bitterness, resentfulness and disappointment.

I want to invite you into the possibility of having a holiday full of connection and love instead. Wouldn’t that truly touch your heart to just be able to BE with your loved ones this year?

festive season

Let’s chat about how to put in the work to make that dream a reality.

First thing first. We need to understand deep within that you are in control of your own feelings, reactions, what you take on and actions to improve on an existing relationship. Many people ask me when I help coach them with their relationships “but what about them, I can’t control them. So how am I to know that what I change will have any impact on them?” Here is the reality of it. You have zero control over them. You can only control your own thoughts, point of view and reactions.


Take some time to be mindful of others and your reactions. Before the events start to roll in, take some time to write out all the previous grievances that have arisen during the holiday seasons of the past, and reflect on what triggered the upset. What part did you play in that? How can move the conversations this year so to focus on a positive outcome if those issues arise again? By preparing yourself and being mindful of your own influence on the situation you will have tools to be able to handle the situation better.


Release unrealistic expectations. We often put much more pressure on our family members than we do on anyone else in our lives. Why? They are just human like you with their own issues and challenges. Remember that you rarely know what is going on in someone else’s life, and the negativity  that can surface is often evidence of much deeper issues going on under the surface. Reflect on this and be gentle in your judgements of others.


Be a blessing to those around you this year. Look for ways to communicate your love and appreciation to each person in your family. So much of our disappointment comes from feeling unfulfilled from others around us (they don’t listen to us, they are uninterested in what we are doing, they are being selfish etc)… Go the extra mile this year to have no expectation from others, but give back to them above and beyond. Breathing this positivity into the holiday gathering will bring with it a positive vibe that will surprisingly influence everyone around you.


When we live on the defensive, we will always encounter the battle. Set yourself up to actively influence the situation from a positive mindset and a heart full of love. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.