Keep calm at Christmas


How to have a stress-free Christmas, including avoiding family arguments and sharing the workload.


Christmas is a time for merry-making and family get-togethers, but it can have its pressures too.

The family is stuck in the house, the kids are overexcited, there’s the tree to decorate, presents to buy and wrap, and food to cook.


It’s no wonder the festive feeling can fizzle out. There is evidence that Christmas puts a strain on families. Statistics show that January is the busiest month for divorce lawyers.


Make sure this Christmas doesn’t become a day to remember for all the wrong reasons. Follow these tips from Relate counsellor Christine Northam:

  • If there have been any family rows during the year, resolve them. Tell the people you argued with that you're looking forward to seeing them. Ask if you can get together before Christmas to talk about whatever problem you had.
  • Plan the day and share out the jobs that need to be done. Don't slave away for hours on your own and feel like people have taken advantage of you.
  • Discuss your plans with others, including any children who will be there, so that you can listen to their ideas and wishes for the day. Then you can come up with a celebration which includes things that please everyone.
  • Have a timetable for Christmas Day so that you don’t all sit around for hours doing nothing. Try to make sure you won't be spending a lot of time with a difficult person or someone you don’t get along with.
  • Don’t drink too much. Drinking excessively is never a good idea. Find out more on safer drinking.
  • Children can get overexcited, so plan a lovely long walk for a change of scene and some fresh air. Everybody will feel better and pleasantly tired instead of irritably tired. For more ideas, read Get active at Christmas [source]

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