We heard about a survey the other day that found one-third of people are absolutely DREADING telling Mom they aren’t coming home for the holidays this year. If you’re in that group, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you break the news . . .
1. Be confident in your decision. It’s one of the most important parts when sharing news someone else doesn’t want to hear. If you don’t feel right going into the conversation, you’re more likely to waver and get talked out of it.
2. Tell them as soon as possible. Christmas is two weeks from today. And the longer you delay telling your family, the more inconvenient and difficult it will be for them.
3. Validate their feelings. Once you break the news, be prepared to listen and validate their feelings if they’re upset . . . and definitely DON’T get in a debate about who’s being “right” or “smart” about the virus. It also might help to mention how hard and disappointing the decision is for you too, and reiterate how much you want to be there.
4. Use facts if needed. There’s a guide to holiday celebrations on the CDC’s website.
5. Modify your traditions. Like if you live within driving distance, you can offer to drop off food instead of cooking it together. Or if you’re further away, send some wrapped gifts and schedule a time to open them together over Zoom.
6. Offer something to look forward to. Make plans for a future celebration so you have something to look forward to once the pandemic is behind us.