Heat under the Christmas Tree

By Jang KapgenLex Kleren

Over the holidays, distant families come together – but this does not come without its difficulties. In times during which polarized opinions divide the population, a Christmas dinner can quickly turn into a battlefield of "You’re wrong!" and "I am right!". Lëtzebuerger Journal interviewed a mediator to learn a few tricks to avoid a Christmas debacle.

In our favorite Christmas movies, families bake sugar cookies together and sing song in harmony under the Christmas tree. But the reality of Christmas does often look very different. Students come home from abroad, distant relatives meet again for the first time since Easter and the hosts have to deliver the performance of the year – offering food, drinks and entertainment while (probably most importantly) keeping the peace in an overcrowded home.

This year might seem a bit calmer, as restrictions recommend or impose social distancing. Nevertheless, the few people left at the dinner table are often still able to find a topic ripe for heated debate. In an interview about techniques of non-violent communication, the acknowledgment of emotions and ending friendships over social media, Paul Demaret, a mediator from the Centre de Médiation asbl, offers some strategies for the upcoming holidays.

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