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How to Avoid Holiday Meltdowns

This season, avoid the usual meltdowns and instead forge meaningful connections.

Kelly Vickers had his hands full helping one Albuquerque family survive the happiest time of the year.The family “had been devoutly Christian, but after the couple divorced, the father became an atheist,” he recalls. When it was the dad’s time with the children, he would spend it actively dismantling the moral values the mother was trying to install. It took all his skills as a professional mediator for Vickers to guide them “to a place of mutual respect and past the hard line of the beliefs.”Vickers deals with family conflicts for a living, but for the rest of us, finding that place of mutual respect with our kin might be easier said than done.“I see a lot of anxiety in clients during the holidays,” says Cara Barker, a Jungian analyst and author based in Bellevue, Washington. “The family is coming into town . . . They are bracing themselves: ‘Please, God, let me get through this with minimal damage.’”What is it about the holidays that brings out the worst in families?Let’s start with the obvious: We’re all in one room.American culture is based on a nuclear, not an extended, family, explains Lina Kaplan …

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Kathryn Drury Wagner

Spirituality & Health’s Wellbeing Editor, Kathryn Drury Wagner, is based in Savannah. She’s been a contributor to the...

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