One strategy that can be helpful when dealing with a nasty person on holidays is to plan the party on the holiday date but not include the person. Don’t hide or camouflage that the event is happening — simply make alternate plans to spend time with the toxic person.
- Have Christmas at home with your immediate family, but agree to see one set of in-laws on the 26th and the other the 28th.
- Be tied up or busy on Christmas eve and Christmas day… but offer to spend a less meaningful holiday to you personally with a toxic parent or Cluster B family member. [MLK weekend in January, anybody — we’ll exchange gifts then over the three day weekend?
- Stay busy with work every day from October 1st through January 3rd. Plan an alternate holiday dinner date the first weekend in January to do a gift exchange. Keep all decorations up for the event but take them down immediately the day after to avoid triggers.
- Limit contact access during seasonal months — limiting the person’s access to harm you on special occasions by doing your own thing to celebrate in private while setting healthy boundaries that minimize their abilities to cause trauma.