It is the season of good will but Christmas is also notorious for family rows and strains on relationships. Over excited and under slept kids, Uncle Bob, who always drinks too much, Grandma who insists you all watch the Queens speech and stand for the national anthem, all under the same roof for a whole day is a recipe for disaster!
Here are some tips to help reduce the strain on relationships over the festive period:
Don’t expect it to be the “perfect” Christmas. You can’t please everyone all the time. But you can build a lovely Christmas full of great memories.
Don’t chose Christmas as the time to sort out existing family rows.
Plan ahead, think about who you will be spending time with over the festive period and where the pressure points are likely to be. You can avoid a lot of conflict by considering what you will do during the day and even delegating activities to family or friends to organise and run.
Break it Up
Break up the time. Spending the whole day in a confined space can add extra strain. Try planning some different activities, going for a walk, watch a film or play a game. (ones with simple rules are best!)
If you find yourself getting angry or frustrated, take some time out, go for a walk or sit in a different room. Feelings of anger often build up, reach a peak and then go away. Give yourself some time to let this process happen.
Try Somthing New
Learn to adapt. This season can throw changes in families (such as divorce, bereavement or people moving away) into sharp relief. Try introducing new traditions or doing things differently rather than sticking to past traditions.
90 % of people like to spend Christmas with immediate family but only 54% would include extended family
Make Up Quick
Don’t put too much pressure on family or yourself, if you clash over something, kiss and make up quickly, and then move on.
Stop To Be Thankfuk
Remember to take a moment every now and then to just stop and appreciate the people around you (however chaotic and demanding they might be) and the chance to spend time together (however tense it may feel). Keep everything in perspective by remembering Christmas celebrates the joyous and hope filled birth of Jesus, and that we all have lots to be thankful for.
If you want to explore more of our ‘How to survive Christmas’ series check out the other editions here:
Relate is a charity and the UK’s largest provider of relationship support.