OMG! It’s the holidays and that means the ‘Fockers’ are coming to town. Yup! The relatives who you love, hate, detest, cherish, enjoy and a bunch of in between. 

‘Uncle Fred’ the drunk who drinks himself into a stupor and hits on every pretty face in the house, including relatives. The wayward cousin’ who sees this as a perfect opportunity to come and ask for a handout because they have ‘fell behind’ in their finances. The wannabee brother’ who is supposed to be living a great life but actually is rooming with his best friend while posting on social media about how great life is with a hashtag #YOLO. Then there is sweet ‘Aunt Del,’ who no matter what is happening in the family, she shows up and show out, bringing the JOY of the holiday spirit with her. Then there is Dad’oh Dad…you worry too much. Yes, it’s costing us a pretty penny to host everyone and yes, they’re all sleeping here and no you can’t ask them to chip in for the cost of food and shelter. (side-eye) …. moving right along to our dear Mama,’ the well-wisher, logical thinker, compassionate soul with the ‘need to know’ what’s going on in everyone’s life including their marital status. Last but not least ‘Nana’…the matriarch of the family, with the wisdom of King Solomon and the heart of Ruth. She sees, knows, understands and tells you exactly how ‘it’ should be. “There’s always something to be grateful for” she’d say. “And it’s best to start with family.” She’s right! We don’t get to choose our family members, but they’re all we’ve got and we have to learn to love them and/or bless and release them. Even when some of them become unfamiliar (pun intended) to us, the holidays are a great opportunity to reconnect and get familiar. (another pun intended).  Sounds familiar?

Gratitude is a perfect therapy for surviving the holidays with difficult relatives. Gratitude is the alchemy of Faith, Hope & Love. Three components which are paramount during the holidays. Being thankful for every experience and our family give us the ability to cope even through the difficult times with family members. We don’t get to choose our families, we simply have to learn to love them in spite of the differences we suffer.

So, let’s Look at some ways in which we can cope with family members and not end up in an orange suit during the season.


2: Remember it’s not just about you!

3: You cannot divorce your family.

4: Create boundaries.

5: It’s only for the season-this too shall pass.

6: Be grateful and enjoy the moments.

7: Contribute and engage in the festivities.

8: Be patient and pray.

9: LOL-Laugh Out Loud! (even at the bad jokes) and pray some more.
10: If all else fails…Bless & Release them.

To everything there is a season. Let this holiday season be memorable for you and your family. Life is too short not to seize the moments with much gratitude and with a grateful heart. Appreciate the differences you are experiencing; focus on who you are becoming and give much while expecting nothing in return. Learn how to cope as this is essential to your well-being. If you must, choose your battles wisely, after all it’s always better to win the ‘war’.

Pray for ‘Uncle Fred’s’ addiction. Set your boundaries with your ‘wayward cousin’. Be patient and pray for your ‘wannabe brother’. Smile, be grateful and enjoy the moments with Aunt Del. Contribute and engage in the festivities with ‘Dad’. Be patient and pray with Mama. Count your blessings for your Nana.

Remember there is always something to be grateful for. Who better to practice with family….the ‘Fockers’.

About the Author

jsharpe-blogJay Sharpe, is a mother, effective Certified Professional Life Coach, Corporate Trainer, well sought after Dynamic Speaker, Blog Talk Radio Show Host, Freelance Writer & Author of the books Chicken Lyrics & The Pocketbook of Gratitude. Learn more at

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