Navigating Family Dynamics: Handling Requests to Change the Date of a Christmas Brunch

Family gatherings, especially during the holiday season, are a cherished tradition for many. However, coordinating schedules can be a challenge, and sometimes, conflicts arise. One such situation is when a family member requests to change the date of a planned event, such as a Christmas brunch. This can lead to tension and disagreements, particularly if the request is perceived as an imposition. In this article, we will explore how to navigate these dynamics and handle such requests in a respectful and considerate manner.

Understanding the Request

Before reacting to the request, it’s important to understand the reasons behind it. If the niece is working on the day of the brunch, she may feel disappointed about missing out on the family gathering. Her mother, wanting to ensure her daughter’s inclusion, might be advocating on her behalf. While it may seem inconvenient, their request is likely coming from a place of wanting to be part of the family tradition.

Communicating Effectively

Effective communication is key in resolving such issues. Instead of viewing the request as an imposition, consider it as an opportunity for dialogue. Express your concerns about changing the date, but also listen to their reasons. It’s important to have this conversation in a calm and respectful manner, avoiding any blame or criticism.

Considering Alternatives

If changing the date is not feasible, consider other alternatives. Perhaps the brunch could be moved to a later time to accommodate the niece’s work schedule. Or, a separate smaller gathering could be arranged for those who can’t make it on the original date. The goal is to find a solution that respects everyone’s needs and schedules.

Setting Boundaries

While it’s important to be flexible and accommodating, it’s also crucial to set boundaries. If changing the date would cause significant inconvenience for other family members, it’s okay to say no. However, it’s important to communicate this decision in a respectful and empathetic manner, explaining the reasons behind it.


Navigating family dynamics can be challenging, especially when it comes to coordinating schedules for holiday gatherings. However, with understanding, effective communication, consideration of alternatives, and setting boundaries, it’s possible to handle requests to change the date of a family event in a way that respects everyone’s needs and maintains harmony. Remember, the goal of these gatherings is to celebrate together as a family, and finding a solution that allows for this is the best outcome.