3 Rules for Surviving Family Drama During the Holidays

Want to know what drama is most attracted to? Family gatherings.

I kid, sorta.

When you get a group of people together who have varying lifestyles, opinions, and convictions it could be great! 

Or it could be like mixing oil and water.

Ahh…it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Family drama, however, does not have to ruin your holiday. In fact, if you could learn how to navigate it, then it might turn out for good. Here are some rules to live by:

3 Rules to Survive Family Drama During the Holidays

1. Holidays Are Not a Time to Resolve Your Differences

I get it.

You’ve avoided this person like the plague all year and finally, the time has come to see them face-to-face. 

It’s unavoidable and when they walk past you to get their dinner plate, the tension surfaces, and you want to have a moment of total honesty.

Hold the phone. You can get your moment of honesty, but choose a place and time away from the family gathering. Yes, you should resolve it. Yes, you should get to speak your mind. However, that means you don’t need to involve the rest of the family.

So your 4-year-old niece, your Grandma, and your Uncle Albert don’t need to be involved. It’s unnecessary and puts everyone in a weird position. Don’t be a mood killer.

If I’ve convinced you to not to hash out your differences during the holiday, this brings me to my next point.

2. You Can Be Cordial Without Being Fake

Your turbulent relationship doesn’t have to be stuffed away and replaced with a fake smile.

By the same token, you shouldn’t have a “b” face on all night.

So where’s the middle ground? Is it even possible to be cordial without being fake?

Absolutely yes. You can smile, use manners, and hold back unnecessary comments as a way of being cordial.

Being fake, on the other hand, means pretending you like someone you don’t. 

There is a fine middle ground, and I trust you can find where to safely journey.

3. Lastly, Negative People Need People the Most

No, you’re not an emotional charity, but you need to realize that everyone can flourish with love and kindness.

Spend 2 seconds on the internet and you can find a million memes that tell you to avoid drama, negative people, etc.

I’m telling you just the opposite of that.

Once you’re secure in who you are, embrace those people. These people need it the most and I can almost promise that you’ll be changed in the process.

Loving people who are lovable is easy. Loving people who aren’t lovable is hard. Change comes through doing hard things.


Drama in life is inevitable. Differences with others are inevitable. You, however, have complete control over your thoughts, words, and actions.

Use them wisely and for good and have a wonderful holiday season.

I grew up in Omaha and met my husband, Tommy, during our college internship. We’re OPS kids who now live in Elkhorn with our 3 girls- Evelyn, Annabel, and Madeline. In my former life, I ran a marketing/web design business for 7 years. Now, I work part-time at Absolute Roofing and run my own blog at LightPassingThrough.com. I’m passionate about Jesus, marriage, parenting, fitness, food, and people. If you have a crazy idea for a blog post, there’s a good chance I would probably say “yes”.