Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Advice to Children and Teenage Persons: How You Can Make the Best of the Holiday Season With Your Relatives

The following suggestions may help you to avoid having conflicts with your relatives when you spend more time with them this Holiday Season:

(1) Keep in mind that the number of years you have to live with or get together with your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles is very, very limited. Your parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles are mortal. They will not be alive forever. Make the most of the opportunities you do have this Holiday Season to spend time with your parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles in person. Try to be polite and pleasant and friendly and kind and cheerful to your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles during all of your Holiday Season meetings with them.

(2) Jot down on a piece of paper what you admire or love or like the most about each of the relatives whom you will be having conversations with this Holiday Season. That information can guide you well as you strive to be nice to each of your relatives this Holiday Season.

(3) Ask your parents if you can borrow a tape recorder from them and pose a variety of questions to a relative of yours whom you love the most or admire the most. You can then store in your own personal library in your bedroom the resulting audiotape of that polite interview you conducted. That taped interview can help to inspire you throughout your life.

(4) Ask each of your relatives you're talking with in person about their favorite hobbies. Then ask relatives of yours if they would let you pursue that hobby with them this Holiday Season. If your relative enjoys playing miniature golf, for instance, you could ask your relative if he would be willing to teach you how to play miniature golf.

(5) Try telling each of your relatives about your favorite hobbies and leisuretime activities. Your generosity in sharing this information about yourself may help you to develop a closer emotional bond with several of your relatives.

(6) Strive to avoid making any comment to a relative of yours that might sound sarcastic or cruel or mean.

(7) Try offering words of sincere praise to each of your relatives, when the opportunity arises. Your generosity toward your relatives will be appreciated by each of them.

(8) Try asking each of the relatives of yours in your age group if they would please tell you the name of a book or movie that they recently enjoyed reading or watching. That information may offer you good ideas for books and movies you might also enjoy.

(9) Try inviting a relative of yours to go with you to a favorite place of yours that your parents are willing to take both of you to and your parents also like. The relative of yours you invite on that outing with you will appreciate your generous hospitality.

(10) Strive to identify and focus on those moments when you agree with what a relative of yours is saying in your presence. Your constructive focus on having a "point of agreement" with that relative of yours will help you to achieve harmony with your relatives this Holiday Season.

(11) Ask one of your parents, uncles, aunts, or grandparents to please tell you about a favorite Holiday Season of their past that they experienced. What made that Holiday Season especially enjoyable for them?

(12) Think of a food or beverage you enjoy that one of your older relatives often cooks or prepares. Ask that older relative if he or she might be willing to let you help him prepare that dish or that beverage inside your family's home this Holiday Season. You could also ask that older relative to please let you look at his or her recipe for that dish. You could then copy that recipe using a pen and add that handwritten recipe card to your own growing personal recipe file inside your family's home.

(13) Ask an older relative of yours to please tell you about artists, singers, published writers, current television shows, and current Hollywood actors whom that relative of yours particularly likes or loves. You could then jot down notes for yourself about the opinions that your relative shared with you.

(14) Ask your older relatives about various Holiday Season traditions that your family has followed for many years. When did each of those Holiday Season traditions begin in your family, and who began that tradition in your family? For instance, was it your father or mother, or a grandparent of yours, who established the annual tradition of all members of their household going on an outdoor nature-trail hike together on Christmas Day?

(15) Find out if any of your relatives have begun to write or have finished writing their New Year's Resolutions for 2011? Ask that relative of yours why he chose those particular goals, or "resolutions," for himself?

(16) Pursue some research on the Internet to learn more about how the people of some foreign nation celebrate the Holiday Season. For instance, do children in the foreign nation of Australia believe that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole or in the South Pole? Australia is situated much closer to the South Pole than to the North Pole.

(17) Do some research to identify a Holiday-Season tradition in a foreign country that you also might enjoy doing. You could then ask your parents for permission to try doing something like that in your own home.

(18) Ask each of your relatives you're spending time with this Holiday Season if they would be willing to share with you their personal E-mail address and home phone number. You could then jot down that information and add that to your personal address book.

(19) Ask each of your relatives this Holiday Season if he or she would please tell you the day of the year when he or she was born. You could then devote an entire page of your address book to citing the birthdays of each of your relatives. That information will help you to remember to mail Birthday greeting cards on an annual basis to each of your relatives.

(20) Ask one of your relatives to teach you a new board game or a new card game that you haven't played before.

(21) Ask yourself what is the subject in school in which you are currently the weakest. Then ask a relative of yours if he or she knows of any educational board game you could play with that relative this Holiday Season that would help you improve your skills in that subject area.

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