Holiday stress

As the holidays are getting closer, parents of adults children (particularly those that are not living in the same area) are starting to make plans where to go, with whom to celebrate, what gifts to give etc. For retirees these questions often bring to the surface unresolved or difficult issues regarding how to split resources (time and money) among children.

Whom should be visit- can all of them be rewarded equally – do you give a bigger present to the child who is less financially successful or to the one that has helped so much more when you were sick. Do you let your son host the holiday dinner even thought you don’t get along with his wife and she is a lousy cook.  Usually it is not the item (should we fly to CA to be with child X family over Thanksgiving)   that is the cause of the conflict, rather the psychological meaning that each spouse attach to that item – not feeling connected with that child for example is at the core for the husband or worrying about the financial cost because the tickets are so expensive.

Reading the Chapters 5 and 8 in my book can help reduce the conflicts and better understand each other point of view.