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How to Tell Your Family You’re Not Coming Home for Christmas

How to Tell Your Family You’re Not Coming Home for Christmas

This holiday season will look very different for millions of Americans who have decided to forego traveling home this year due to the pandemic. While some families may be understanding, some may not be as happy with your decision. If you’ve decided not to go home for the holidays, here’s how to break it to your family without burning bridges.


Give Yourself Permission First

Before telling your family, give yourself permission first. Remind yourself why you made the important decision to stay home as opposed to putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. It might help to make a list of your reasons or thought process. 


Let Your Family Know as Soon as Your Decision is Made

This is simple common courtesy but don’t wait until Christmas Eve to tell them you won’t be coming home. It might be a difficult conversation, but the sooner they know the sooner they’ll be able to prepare their own plans or set up virtual plans with you!


Allow Them to Be Upset, But Set Clear Boundaries

If the holidays are a big deal in your family, not going might be a shock and could potentially upset some family members. Set clear boundaries and explain why you will not be joining them, but also remind them you’re not coming home because you don’t want to spend the holidays with them. Remind them the reason you’re not going to be there is for their health and safety. 


If you need additional help setting boundaries, check out this blog post that touches on the topic of saying ‘no’. You can also check out this post all about setting boundaries during the holidays.


Offer Alternatives

Be open to compromising or offering different ways you can celebrate together. Maybe you do a virtual holiday celebration or have Christmas dinner all together over a Zoom call. Figure out what could potentially work best with you, your family and your situation and find creative ways to keep any family traditions alive. 


Always remember that boundaries are a key component in healthy relationships whether that’s friends, family or a significant other. This holiday season is going to be strange and difficult but we should remind ourselves this won’t last forever.