10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Drama by Using These Public Speaking Tips

Obligatory Christmas picture with our bio kids. 

What does Christmas look like at the Practically Speaking household? 

Well…let’s see there’s:

Four sets of parents, five kids (explained more here), one new kid-in-law to be, an eighty-pound dog who thinks he’s a kid, siblings, nieces, and nephews.  

Serving with Grit Into Grace and church outreach programs.  Delivering presents to families in need. 

Countless trays of peppermint bark, mimosa brunches, homecooked dinners, holiday mingles and Christmas Eve services. 

Seven Christmas trees (we adopt homeless trees; it’s a thing), one Christmas Village, lights on the house, Christmas cards, teacher gifts, random gifts and always a forgotten gift or two. 

You get the idea. 

It’s a lot of fun …and it can be stressful. 

As I was sitting down to write, I knew I wanted to share some tips about how we manage our holiday craziness… I mean… festivities.  

As it turns out,  some of the tips I give for public speaking work wonders for surviving the holidays. Without (or with less) drama. 

So, in honor of the 2018 holiday season, I give you my…

(drumroll please)

Top 10 list of Ways to Avoid Drama during the Holidays

(that double as public speaking tips) 

1.) Stick to the plan.

You’ve made a plan, stick to it!  Last minute changes to the schedule cause stress for you and your loved ones; be confident in the scheduling decisions you’ve made.   

2.) Less is more.

Whether it’s gifts, food, booze or your Uncle Joe… less is more.  Overdoing is a sure fire way to set yourself up for unnecessary drama. Setting boundaries for yourself and others will keep you from overdoing it this time of year. 

3.) Smile. 

Smiles are free and contagious.  Share them with everyone this season! 

4.) Make eye contact

Let your loved ones know you care. Pay attention, put down what’s in front of you and look at them.  There’s someone in your life who needs the gift of your full attention, so give it to them. 

5.) Know your audience. 

You know what to say or do that’s going to be fun or what’s going to start trouble.  Stay away from the stuff that causes problems and be prepared with topics, games, and activities everyone will enjoy. 

6.) Have a positive attitude. 

Research shows that focusing on the positive reduces stress, opens our minds to new opportunities and helps us make better decisions.  Focus your attention on what’s going right vs. what’s going wrong for an instant positivity boost. 

7.) Breathe.

When stress, drama or an unexpected tackless comment threatens to throw you off your holiday A game, breathe before you react.  Take long slow breaths. Repeat as needed and follow rules 8, 9, and 10. 

8.) Pause. 

If things are stressful, pause and refocus on the positive. If they’re going well, pause and enjoy the moment; it will be gone too soon. 

9.) Keep your sense of humor. 

A gift will be forgotten, someone will say something that gets under your skin, and your cat will knock down the Christmas tree.  Keep your sense of humor handy and choose to lighten up with laughter.   

And last but not least.

10.) Never forget your purpose. 

Whether it’s tradition, religion, spending time with family you don’t see often, or all of the above, stay focused on your purpose.  Stay true to it and you’ll find happiness during the holidays and throughout the year! 


Do you have a tip for avoiding drama when speaking or celebrating the holidays?  Share it in the comments below!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours! 

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