Break a family tradition…..?

by Rod Smith

“For thirteen years my family has met at my brother’s house for Christmas. I want to have my family at my house but my brother says it is a tradition and he will not hear of it. Now I have to choose to invite my in-laws (the other side of the family) to my house at the cost of not going to my brother’s house. It would be helpful if my brother were a little more flexible. Please help.”

As an adult with your own immediate family I hereby grant you permission to have Christmas wherever you choose. The contest of wills with your brother will not be resolved before December 25th, 2007 since its origins are deeply embedded in your childhoods.

Sometimes growing up and having your own family involves a degree of “moving on” and I’d suggest you break this 13-year tradition and begin a few of your own.

2 Comments to “Break a family tradition…..?”

  1. Outside the bedroom, I don’t think you’ll find a better source of two-choice dilemmas than family gatherings around the holiday season. All too often, these things become more of a test of loyalty than an opportunity to spend time with loved ones. In reading this post, all I could think of was that script that Bowen said was used by someone trying to shut down the process of differentiation:

    You are wrong. Change back. If you don’t, here are the consequences.


  2. Do what you want and make your own traditions. It’s too bad your brother can’t compromise but you need to do what’s right for you and your family. Maybe next year the family could go to his house on Christmas Eve and your house Christmas Day, or something like that. Good luck.

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