Ten tips for a fun Christmas dinner

By Martin Thoolen,
Published at 17 December 2022.
Read in 3 minutes.

Here we go again. The Christmas dinner is on the horizon, but how do we keep it really fun?

Odd, isn’t it? Christmas, a time of peace, but we can still argue at the dinner table – before, during and after. But things can be different, and you can help to make this difference!

You already start walking on eggshells during the preparation. After all, you start thinking:

  • ‘he/she is always difficult’
  • ‘I have known him/her my whole life’
  • ‘that’s just how they/we are’
  • ‘always the same tune during the family dinner’

These mindsets, which you cling to and can last for years, come from somewhere. They are ego roles and family roles that you have known in yourself and each other for a very long time. And sometimes they have been reinforced over the years.

However, it is precisely these familiar old mind-sets that ensure that we are more likely to start a war than cultivate peace at the Christmas dinner table. Sometimes simply in in our thoughts about each otherbut sometimes also in words and gestures.. A self-fulfilling prophec to which you contribute by continuing to think in that way. Pity, because things can be done differently. And you play the leading role in this. Contributing to peace on earth, right where you are. Take a look.

A peaceful Christmas dinner

Look at your own mindsets, let go.

and simply ask yourself the question: ‘Is that so?’ eigen mindsets en stel jezelf simpelweg de vraag: ‘Is dat zo?’

Like: ‘I have known him/her my entire life.’ Is that so? No, of course not, because you don’t see them every single second. You simply don’t know what someone else says, does or shares in another way, without your involvement. You have always only seen a part of your father, mother, brother, sister or child.

However, experiences in families quickly lead us to stick ego labels on each other, such as them always being difficult, egoistic, antisocial, cynical, insolent, rude, etc. And there were undoubtedly reasons for this. But do you want to stay in the same place? A place of conflict? And can you see and approach the other part of your family?

Let go of that place for a while at Christmas. Try approaching your brother, sister, father, mother or child from a new place with a fresh, new mindset and try the following 10 tips below. And don’t make any prejudgements.


  1. Let go of all your impressions, feelings and past memories about the other person.
  2. Temporarily forgive everything that the other person has ever done to you and do the right thing.
  3. Approach others neutrally and without prejudice.
  4. Break the ice and use some (not sarcastic or cynical) humour.
  5. Ignore any judgement you have about them for the evening.
  6. If you don’t like what someone says, try to look beyond your own judgement to find out why someone says something. Out of curiosity.
  7. Do not enter into verbal conflict, but ‘agree to disagree.’
  8. Ask how things are really going with your mother, father, brother, sister or child out of genuine curiosity.
  9. Say something positive about the other person.
  10. Enjoy what is good together.

Try these tips and I predict that you will feel much happier during the Christmas season.

Give yourself or the other person a Christmas present

Would you like to learn other ways, big or small, to contribute to a better world?

At home or at work? Take a look at this Christmas present – the book ‘Personally Inspiring Leadership.’ For more effective work, a meaningful life and a better world. View or order a copy here:


See the promotional copy and find out whether my book could help you.

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Would you like to personally experience how you, as a manager, professional or administrator can make a better team, organisation or world?

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©2022: Martin Thoolen

#personalleadership #inspiredleadership #spiritedpersonalleadership #mastercoursespritedpersonalleadership #coaching #training

Martin Thoolen

My 30 years of professional experience as an awareness coach, clinical and organisational psychologist has enabled me to help thousands of clients in Personal or Collective Leadership. Both groups and individuals, in coaching sessions, training courses, leadership development and organisation development programs, retreats and seminars.
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