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Family Holidaze

November 20, 2009

Despite what the retail world would have you believe, the holiday season officially kicks off next week at Thanksgiving, and people are preparing to see family they haven’t seen in a while.

And it’s causing some anxiety.

Emotions tend to run very close to the surface during this time of year, and it can lead some heated debates, and less-than-happy holiday gatherings.  Temple psychologist Herbert Rappaport says that one of the best things to do is to simply refuse to feed the fire.

“That’s the worst thing you can do, because then it becomes a schoolyard battle,” he said.  Instead, he suggests discussing sensitive issues quietly, and not in front of the rest of the family.

There’s a time and a place to air grievances, he says, and the dinner table’s probably not the best place.

“Think about the family gathering as if you were in a church or synagogue or mosque. You wouldn’t be fighting or bickering with each other there,” he said.

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