How To Manage The Hectic Holiday Schedule (Part 2)

Thanksgiving divorceBy Contel Bradford

Note: In Part 1, I shared three tips on how to survive the holiday visitation schedule.

Thanksgiving – and the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season – is coming up.

With all the running around we do over the holidays, it’s helpful to read some “been there-done that” advice on how to have a smoother holiday visitation experience.


Embrace Tradition

For some guys, the hardest thing you might have to make it through are the shenanigans your partner’s family considers tradition. It can be even tougher when those traditions are based on something you do not necessarily believe in or are not accustomed to.

Having an open mind really comes in handy here. You have to keep in mind that no matter how corny or ridiculous they may seem, all families are passionate about their traditions and carry them out for what they believe are valid reasons. It probably won’t kill you, so try to embrace the family routine and even participate if you can hack it.


Explore Alternatives

Because you can’t please everyone, you may want to consider exploring some alternative options for the holidays, especially if making all your scheduled rounds is looking impossible. This could actually turn out to be a good thing.

For example, if your woman is insisting that you show up at Granny’s on Christmas, you could plan to have some of your relatives swing by on Christmas Eve. In the past, I have invited my family over a day early to recreate the gatherings that normally take place at my cousin’s.

Everybody brings a dish, a gift or two, and we have a great time. I don’t know if you would want to extend such an offer to your partner’s family, but it is something to think about.


Stand By Your Mate

The holidays can make for crazy times no doubt, but you will always be able to get through it by realizing that you and your partner have an allegiance to each other first. There may be relatives on either side who throw a guilt trip, but as a couple there should be no wedge strong enough to come between you.

Now this will not necessarily get you out of a trip to your future in-laws’ house, but sticking to the decisions you make as a unit can go a long way in strengthening the bond with your partner.

It’s fairly easy to get lost in the often turbulent windstorm of visiting two sets of relatives during the holidays. The most important thing is making sure you and your partner are on the same page in terms of where you go, how long you’ll be staying and so forth. If you have to, prepare a few gestures you guys can throw at each other to signal that it’s time to head for the exit.

When it’s all said and done, the two of you can kick back in bed and joke about whose family is the worst.

Note: In Part 1, I shared three tips on how to survive the holiday visitation schedule.


Contel Bradford is a professional freelance writer, journalist, and published author of multiple books. He specializes in many areas, including legal, divorce, and family-related topics. You can learn more about his services by visiting

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