What Christmas traditions do you have?
We all have some sort of Christmas Traditions, from the traditions most people have like a tree and Santa, to the traditions different countries have, like food and songs.
Then there are those silly family Christmas traditions - the time and method of opening gifts, what's eaten for lunch, games, knowing that great aunt Flossie will drink too much sherry, fall asleep and snore - it's all good.
But things change, children grow, relationships break up and people move away.
How can you handle change at Christmas?
Often, change is not something you control: births, deaths, marriage and divorce make things have to change, and trying to follow the same formula doesn't work any more.
A new partner brings previously unforeseen complications of trying to appease both sets of parents and/or both sets of kids.
And divorce can change Christmas enormously. Maybe you now take it in turns to have the kids at Christmas, making every other Christmas have child shaped holes in them.
So rather than trying to pretend nothing has changed, make some new traditions to take into account the new circumstances.
New traditions will also help avoid difficult times: if yuletide Monopoly always ends in tears and tantrums, then don't do it! Do something else instead!
So what can you do instead?
100 things to do this Christmas by Rosa Lilium gives lots of ideas to try.
50 amazing holiday party games by The Dating Divas gives ideas of some fun games that I bet are new to you.
Maybe go for a walk on the beach with a flask of hot chocolate, or search out a quaint pub, or walk around the city centre when it's quiet. Maybe eat out, or have a different main meal. Use your imagination!
You know the saying 'You can't change other people, all you can change is your reaction to them'?
Well it's so true!
So when your mum starts to criticize, or your dad starts to make fun, or your sister comments on everything you eat, or your brother shows off his wealth, and your grandma asks when you are going to meet a man because tick tick tick, you aren't getting any younger... you have a choice.
You can choose to react differently.
You can slip on your invisible shield and let it wash over you.
That's your own personal new Christmas tradition, to not allow family dynamics to impact you negatively.
You can't stop change, all you can do is manage it, and bringing in new traditions can make that process easier. Try it!
And if you'd like to talk with someone in confidence about your feelings about the changes in your life, contact me.
Jane Travis is a qualified and experienced counsellor and clinical supervisor in the Lincoln area. She has been working at Reflections Counselling Lincoln since 2005. She also helps other counsellors and therapists market and grow their private practices at JaneTravis.co.uk.
FREE Cheatsheet 'How To Say No'.