Holidays can mean trouble for family gatherings

Solution: Keep conversation light, avoid controversial topics

Author: Paul Venema, Reporter,
Published On: Nov 21 2012 06:40:24 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 21 2012 10:30:00 PM CST

With Thanksgiving Day upon us and Christmas right around the corner, many people are faced with often awkward family gatherings.

When families sit down for that holiday feast, a positive attitude is a must, according to psychiatrist Dr. Harry Croft.

“Simply decide that you are just going to enjoy yourself and if nobody else is, at least you will have a good time,” Croft said.

Croft said it is important to keep the conversation light and void of controversial topics.

"Whether it’s politics or religion or what somebody is doing that they shouldn’t do, instead of discussing that, just enjoy the time for what it is,” he said.

A big problem each year, Croft said, is a family's inability to grow up.

“When the family gets together, the adults take on the roles they took as children, and so they fight with each other like they did as kids," he said.

Croft said it is important to remember that things like that holiday feast happen just once a year.

“If you can’t, then just grin and enjoy it – and this, too, will pass,” Croft said.