How to avoid family arguments at Christmas

Sometimes, arguments are inevitable (Picture: Ella Byworth for

Christmas is a wonderful time. The big roast dinner, the Christmas treats, the snuggling up under the blanket with the rest of the family to watch a Christmas film. Lovely.

But it can also be super hectic and family arguments can be inevitable. Is there such thing as the ‘perfect family Christmas’?

According to Relate, it’s pretty normal for arguments to occur because you’re in a ‘hothouse environment’ with lots of ‘contrasting personalities’ all together indoors for long periods of time.

It can be overwhelming – especially when it comes to gift-giving and cooking all the food.

Don’t panic though – because there are some ways to lessen the friction when you feel tension heating up.

Firstly, just don’t expect your Christmas to be perfect. The more pressure you put on yourself the more hostility there is likely to be.

Trying to make every single thing absolutely perfect will be too stressful – so accept that not everything is going to go right.

Relate adds that it’s a good idea to break up the time, so instead of spending all day cooped up together, try different activities, such as playing a board game while other people are in the kitchen, or going outside for a walk to get some headspace.

It’s important to take time for yourself (Picture: Ella Byworth for

But you should try your best to adapt to the situation – because on a day like Christmas Day, it’s bound to be overwhelming and busy, so try to adjust and accept this, because the sooner you do the sooner you’ll start to enjoy it.

As we all know, Christmas can be all about indulging for some families – which also means alcohol. But perhaps cut back on this a little, because alcohol can lead to arguments.

It can make us say things we don’t mean or be a little louder than usual, which others may take as being confrontational.

If you’re not the one cooking, can you help out at dinner? Perhaps you and your family could have designated jobs so that it makes the whole process easier. You could peel the potatoes while your sister mixes the gravy. It’s nice to be helpful and lessens the pressure on the sole cook.

If there are family members there who you can see yourself arguing with – why not ask the host whether you can have a seating plan? You’ll enjoy your dinner much more if you’re sat away from the auntie who won’t stop asking you why you’re still single.

If things really do get too much, it’s totally okay to take some time out. Keep a book on you and nip to the bathroom for 15 minutes to lock yourself in to read.

Or go outside and call a friend to vent.

Or the easiest of all, just pop out for a short walk to clear your head. Yes, Christmas is about togetherness, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a little time to yourself if it helps you to enjoy the day.

But whatever you do, try to remember that Christmas is just one day, and once it’s all over things will go back to normal.

So try to hold your head high and get through it. If it’s all getting too much, try to remember that it’s not going to last forever, and that tomorrow is a new, and much calmer, day.

Try to enjoy your Christmas and forgive your family for any mishaps – it only comes around once a year!

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