NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the holidays upon us, many families are crisscrossing the country to visit one another.
But will all this family togetherness and closeness create stress and conflict?
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports holidays don’t have to bring family drama.
It’s nearly time for Thanksgiving turkey. But what if you prefer porterhouse steak? For some, home for the holidays comes with the hope that they won’t dissolve into discord.
The Martinez family of Farmingdale alternates between grandparents each holiday.
“We are going to bring wine, and pie, and call it good,” said Rachel Martinez.
They’ll dwell on dessert, not conflict.
“What do you try to steer away from?” asked CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“Definitely politics and religion. We have a very mixed family,” said Luke Martinez.
Experts say you should take a page from Hollywood and reminisce about holidays past. Lower expectations around the dinner table, use humor and show interest – make it more about them, less about you.
“Communication, flexibility and fairness will make the holidays happier for everyone,” said psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell.
Bartell says to avoid resentment prior to the big day, share your feelings with siblings, partners and parents.
“What happens with blended families now?” McLogan asked.
“You have to pick and choose and it usually turns into some sort of argument,” said Bethpage parent Brian McCarthy.
“It’s a juggling act,” said Meghan McCarthy.
Many choose catering for at least part of the meal.
“You get to enjoy your family, sit down with them, pull the bird out of the oven and say you did it all yourself,” said Rich Dibble of Stew Leonard’s.
“I came here and ordered the dinner for eight,” said Amityville grandmother Patricia Brown.
Nonetheless, the Browns will make their special side dishes.
“Rice, collard greens, sweet potatoes, cornbread,” said Curtis Brown.
Most everyone is anticipating a special time.
“All of us just getting together, having a great meal, and enjoying family time,” said parent Nancy Chan Hirte.
The Hirte family wants to recognize the value in all family relationships.