Many people find themselves dreading the holidays since it means that this is a time they will be forced to spend long amounts of time with relatives. Often these moments spent with our family members who we did not choose but nature chose for us are less than pleasant.

The holidays don’t have to be something that you have to endure each year, however. Why not try to make them as drama-free as possible by putting to use the following tips.

Stay Away From The Alcohol

Although many people’s first reaction is to grab a glass of wine while enduring sitting next to Uncle Harold for 3 hours while he rants on about Aunt Betty and how she sold his stamp collection to run off to Tahiti with her new lover Rico, you should try to control your alcohol consumption.

When alcohol is in your system you are more likely to let your emotions get the best of you. Since alcohol is a depressant you can easily fall into your feelings of frustration or sadness which can be hard to harness.

Keep in mind that alcohol is infamous for being injurious to the health of humans. Too much consumption of this can lead people to act under the influence and cause accidents (such people often require help from experts at rehabs like the Recovery Institute of Ohio to become sober again). Moreover, it often makes people’s emotions amplify and can lead to some pretty big blowouts. Therefore, it would be wise to monitor your drinking habits at these events. You might not control others but at least you know that you can control your own emotions if things start getting tense on others’ end.

Opt For Secret Santa

The stress and pressure of having to purchase gifts for everyone in your family can detract from the entire purpose of the holidays which is to spend time with loved ones. Often people aren’t pleased with their gifts, or feel like perhaps they don’t have the budget to be able to provide everyone with gifts that they would have liked to give.

A great way to eliminate this stress is to opt for secret Santa. This means that everyone only has to give to one family member. It can be a fun way to focus your energy and funds on one single special present rather than 20 mediocre presents. It also makes for fun family bonding to sit around and have to guess who their secret Santa was.

Bring a Friend

If you really think that the pressure of the family dynamic is too much to handle, try bringing a friend or a partner. Having someone calm and supportive alongside you during a stressful time can be soothing.

It can also encourage your family members to be on their best behavior since they have an outsider watching.

You can also use your guest as a valid reason to make an early exit explaining that the both of you have another event to attend.