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Ten Tips: Being Home for the Holidays

Ten Tips: Being Home for the Holidays

Holidays can be an emotional powder keg when the family gets together and all the dysfunction you thought you left behind creeps back into your life, but returning home isn’t the time to exorcise your inner demons. Here are some tips to help you to be more comfortable with the contortions of family drama:

1) Be discrete. Don’t give out too much information that you will later regret: not having seen you for a while, your family will be curious about your life. Provide enough detail to satisfy without offering intriguing lines of inquiry—about your sex life, for instance.

2) Don’t drink too much. See above. Not only will you feel terrible the next day but you might say things you’ll regret. Having a large glass of water between drinks may help.

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3) Don’t try to even up the score. This is a lousy time to seek revenge or get back at family members for past indiscretions. Doing so is liable to open a whole new can of worms and have unpredictable results.

4) Be curious. This is a good tactic to deflect attention from you: asking talkative family members about themselves will keep the focus off you. After all, you aren’t the only one who has changed.

5) Don’t take the bait. Petty arguments often arise when there is a lot of stress and many people in the room. Avoid taking sides or taking the bait when the bickering starts.

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6) Avoid boredom. Being back at home for long stretches of time can be dull. Plan activities with friends or family members outside of the house, as this time can be a great opportunity to connect one-on-one.

7) Check your expectations at the door. You may be dreading going home or you might even feel full of joy, but either way, you are bound to be disappointed. Keep an open mind and be with what is—just expect that things will be different from what you anticipated.

8) Find support. As supportive as your family might be, we still need a reality check once in a while. Have friends or family members on hand whom you can trust with your feelings to give you feedback and support. This might be through chat, via phone or in person. Introverts could spend time alone and journal if necessary.

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9) Take a break. Be good to yourself. Find time for activities you know you will enjoy like meditating, reading, listening to music, going for walks or exercising. Being back home can produce intense emotions, so give yourself time to work through them and replenishing your spirit. It will also give family members space.

10) Don’t take offense. You’ve been away and things have changed. You might be feeling left out or out of step with those around you, but remember that it’s not all about you—after all, you are the one who left. You want to be treated as an adult, so don’t expect the holiday to be the same as it was when you were ten.

Featured photo credit: Christmas Light display via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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