End family feuds this Christmas

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For many, Christmas is one of the happiest times of the year and we cannot wait. For others it’s a jungle trial that has to be won, a series of meals that have to be prepared, parties that have to be endured, bills for which there isn’t enough money. And it can also be lonely.

I know many people who choose to spend the day alone. They have no interest in the enforced jollity and are more than happy to fill the fridge for themselves and spend the day contentedly in their own company. And there’s nothing wrong with that. For others, the solitude is not of choice. It’s a result of family feuds that have never been resolved or family members simply refusing to spend time together for some reason or another.

While family feuds are common, many cannot even identify the cause and the younger generation simply get caught in the crossfire. When did they start? Does anyone actually know? The feuds last for years (sometimes people die before they are resolved) and families grow apart. How many of us can say we regularly see all the members of our family? Even if they only live an hour away, we just never get round to seeing them. So children grow up not knowing their uncles, aunties, grandparents and cousins. These are blood relatives with whom we share history. But somewhere along the line something happened and we just don’t see them except, inevitably, at funerals.

The older generation may not always approve of the way the younger ones behave, what they choose to do with their lives or how they bring up their children.

Sometimes jealousy comes into play. They cannot bear it that someone in the family has done really well for themselves and seems to live a better life. Even though they are essentially the same person, they are shunned for being a success. Parents want the best for their children yet sometimes when they achieve it, they resent it. But what if it was the other way round? How would you feel if you were cold-shouldered just for being successful?

So what better time than Christmas to make up for all the lost time. To forgive, forget and move on in harmony? You might suggest a meet up at a half way point for a drink or a meal. Maybe just invite them round or, quite simply, pick up the phone to wish them a merry Christmas.

Visit www.kennedylifecoaching.co.uk or e-mail questions to maureen@kennedylifecoaching.co.uk.