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How to keep calm during the holidays - week 3

Welcome to week 3 of "How to keep calm during the holidays" (if you would like to see the first two weeks, you can find them here). This week I had planned to discuss a way to physically calm down but since I just hosted Thanksgiving at my home, I thought it would be more appropriate to talk about the lesson that I learned (and talk about the other tip next week).

If you are in the United States, you may have celebrated Thanksgiving last week. Maybe Friendsgiving as well. At my home we hosted Thanksgiving. This was the 2nd year of hosting so we are still ironing out some kinks. However we do have some basics down to keep it as stress free as possible - we don't cook everything ourselves and have some guests bring food but mostly we order the food ahead of time and just heat it up. We try to keep it as causal as possible as well since that is more our style than something stuffy. But there still was stress. I knew that there would be some sort of drama because there usually is but I wasn't expecting that our stress level would skyrocket right before we sat down. What happened? Well someone had decided that everyone should sit down at the table (before we had said the food was ready). My partner and I went into panic mode and tried to get everything on the table as quickly as possible. It was not fun. Definitely not causal. And entirely stressful. What do I wish I had done? Either said something when people started sitting down (but I was very busy and not completely paying attention to that) or said something to the culprit before this had happened. In other words created a boundary before the event. Since it has passed and there is nothing I can do about it now, I'm planning on calling them up and saying something along the lines of "When you got everyone to the table and we weren't ready, it stressed us out. I'd appreciate it if in the future when we are hosting a meal if you could wait to sit at the table until we say the food is ready".

So how can this apply to you? Is there anything this holiday season that you are anticipating being stressful? Does someone do their own thing without thinking of others and it makes an event a little more drama than necessary? Is there some way you can create a boundary with that person so you can feel like you have a voice in how an event goes? I realize this can be very tricky. There are some people who you can create a boundary with who honor that boundary. And there are some people who won't listen or will be angry with you. In the last two, would speaking up make YOU feel like you have a voice? Or would speaking up be very problematic - in which case maybe there is a different way to handle the situation without you having to be stressed out.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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