Posted on: December 17th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

Throughout the week we’ve been explaining how sports conversations and sports topics can help you handle the biggest holiday stresses with ease, including holiday shopping and finding a date.  The last stressor to tackle – family gatherings.  Cue the ominous music and the cold sweats.

It doesn’t have to be that way, in fact, it shouldn’t be that way, particularly at Christmas.  We recently conducted an entire webinar on handling holiday gatherings with sports.  You can click here to download the entire presentation but here are the main points you need to know.

There’s a good chance you don’t want a sports conversation to dominate the entire family gathering.  Think of it more as a conduit to other subjects. You can focus on the location of a game being played and follow up with questions related to travel and family vacations.  Or you could shift the focus to “remember when.”  Here’s an example.  My grandparents live in Denver and follow the Broncos religiously.  Conversations with my grandfather usually start with football but it’s easy to ask how many times he’s been to a game in person, and make comments like

“Remember when the entire family was here a few years ago at Christmas and we all watched the game together?”

“Remember when we used to play football outside and croquet during the summer?”

“Remember when you came to my games when I played basketball?”

All of these comments and questions give you the opportunity to talk about something more than sports, but it helps ease you into the conversation.  It’s almost like warming up the crowd.  When you do that, people are more inclined to participate in the conversation and that bond and relationship grows deeper.  Which is exactly what you want at a family gathering.

With that you should be ready to go and tackle the holidays with ease.

Happy talking!