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Coping with non-green relatives at Christmas?

Coping with non-green relatives at Christmas?

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Tree hugger offers these strategies if you struggle with your family dealing with your choice of food. This could also apply to your choice of fashion, partner, your weight or anything else that family goads you on

    • If a relative is baiting you, don't rise to it. Some wag once said "Of course your family can push your buttons, they installed them". Chances are the uncle who is goading you is never going to see things from your point of view, and is just trying to get you going, so don't bother arguing with him.
    • If you are vegetarian, offer to bring a vegetarian main course so that you aren't making extra work for your parents. Make something that is ready to serve and doesn't require precious oven or stove space.
    • You can bring your own non-disposable utensils, plates etc
    • Don't cover old ground. Families have a way of endlessly reprising touchy topics. Keep in mind a list of things to talk about that will help you avoid the mobius strip of argument.
    • Before the big day, ask the cook to keep unnecessary meat additions out of the side dishes. Really, no one is going to miss bacon bits in the salad.
    • Be open to friendly discussion about your food choices if this is your first Christmas as a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian is a normal, everyday thing for you and if you are matter of fact about it your family will see that it needn't be a big deal.
    • If you've already had the friendly discussion and you don't want to keep having it, it's time to set some limits. Politely point out that there may be other topics more interesting than what you eat.
    • Don't apologize to your family for your food choices, but also recognize that they have the right to their own choices as well.
    • Smile and be thankful.

      I also found a very amusing site on how to deal with Climate Change skeptic family members. It's got some great retorts and strategies, but in general I'd save the discussions for another day.

      Some of Cate's tips

      • Suggest a neutral place for Christmas day such as a park or restaurant if you can.
      • Don't stay with family if it makes you stressed. That friend's couch or cheap motel will be worth it if you feel like an escape. We're staying at an old nunnery and a pub this year.
      • Focus on positivity. It's a day for being together and celebrating.
      • Thank everyone genuinely for their gifts, even if you don't like them. You can always swap them with someone else.
      • Bring some food that you like to eat
      • Don't drink too much, you'll just get annoyed.
      • Christmas day is not the day for political discussion if you can avoid it. Just smile and change the subject.
      • Have something to look forward to. Spending time with your partner on Christmas night, going away, whatever. It's only one day.

      Even more tips can be found here.

      Keen to learn more? We have a host of 'How to have a Green Festive Season' workshops happening in the next few weeks.


      advice, Christmas, ethical, family, holidays, new years, tips