For many, this might be the first time since the pandemic lockdowns started that they can look forward to a 'normal' Christmas and holiday.
Some of us have become accustomed to not doing the long drive across provinces to go home though. Drum’s Sis Dolly gives us some tips on how to best approach the family and have that tricky conversation to say you’re not coming home.
How to break the bad news
There will come a point when you have to break the news to your family, and Sis Dolly urges you to have this conversation well ahead of time.
“These are conversations we should be having right now. You cannot wait to break the news to your family. It’s important to set that boundary now, so that everyone knows where you stand,” she says.
Your decision to not go home may be for many reasons. Maybe you’ve had a baby, just started a new relationship, or you'd like to start a home Christmas tradition of your own. Or you just don't have money.
Whatever the reason, Sis Dolly says it’s important to try and get this point across to them in a compassionate manner.
"It's been a long year and it might have been our wishes to go home or they might be expecting you, but this may also not be the case. Either way, wanting to stay where you are is valid.
"Let them know how much you wanted to come home and that you’ll miss them – tell them that. Then explain your reasons and concerns to them in a clear and understandable manner. Be straightforward so they know that you are not coming and your reason is because of their welfare, safety or whatever it is.
"For many, this could be a perfect time to set new boundaries with your family and establish how family gatherings or you going home will be like.
"It's important to be upfront and honest. Your sincerity will come through to them and they might be understanding," Sis Dolly says.
Stand firm on your decision
The pandemic has changed so much of our lives, which has taken a toll on our emotional and mental wellbeing.
From a family point of view, this means we may not get the reaction we expect from our loved ones.
“This conversation will be largely shaped by the type of relationship you have with your family members," Sis Dolly says.
"If you are used to breaking under pressure and giving in to what they want, it might be hard to process their reaction. But it is important that you keep what you want in mind too – and if you want to stay away this festive season, then you should do just that.
“The second you all are gathered in the same place, you are disregarding your own wishes and boundaries,” she adds.