Written by Barb Greenberg, excerpt from Rediscovering the Holidays

When relatives invite you to celebrate a holiday with them, by all means go if it feels safe. Let yourself be supported, hugged, clucked over and waited on, while your children play with cousins, snuggle with grandparents,or pester a favorite aunt.
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In some situations it doesn’t feel safe to celebrate with family. If this is the case for you, respect yourself and your intuition and politely decline any invitation you may receive. You can say something as simple as, “Thank you for your kind invitation, but I don’t feel ready.”

If your family persists, as families sometimes do, simply repeat the same sentence. You don’t have to justify yourself or make excuses.

You may plan to go to a friend’s house, or find a good book or movie, or simply sit on the sofa and eat ice cream or your favorite snack.

If you enjoy having company for the holidays, invite people over. If this sounds good but also sounds like too much work, or you are worried it will be too expensive, make the celebration a potluck and take the pressure off yourself.

family2People may ask, “What I can bring?” And with a heartfelt thanks, you can choose whether to request an appetizer, a salad, a bottle of wine, or their notorious homemade chocolate chip cookies! And don’t worry if your home doesn’t look perfect. One thing divorce teaches us, is that perfect is over-rated.

Print out the Rediscover Family – Questions for Reflection.