It is usually about 7pm, as people lie around nursing full stomachs, that they decide after a day of hyper children, stressed parents and snoring grandparents that Christmas is probably not worth the effort.
Now, of course it is. Christmas is brilliant, but the pressure for it to be brilliant can bring out the worst in us, so don’t let that happen this year.
Relate, a charity that offers relationship counselling, workshops, mediation and support, either through face-to-face meetings or by phone and online, has provided a guide on how to avoid arguing with loved ones.
Judy Karr, a counsellor for Relate London North West, said: “We all want to have a happy, relaxing Christmas with our families, but in reality it can be a stressful time.
“Lots of couples and families experience some of their biggest bust-ups over Christmas because there’s a lot of pressure on everyone.
“Common causes of arguments range from money issues over buying presents to deciding where to spend Christmas and who’s cooking the dinner.”
So here is your guide to an argument-free Christmas:
Plan ahead. Getting some of the jobs done ahead of the day means everyone will be less stressed, and planning the festivities as a family is more likely to ensure everyone feels their hopes and expectations are being listened to.
Don’t overspend. For a lot of people money will be tight, so try not to succumb to the pressure to spend more than you can afford.
Think of the children. Who goes where and when can be a huge issue for parents who have split up and for step families, especially if you are at loggerheads. As hard as it is, try and keep as calm as possible and keep your children’s best interests at heart.
Give yourself space. Christmas can be hectic and tensions can quickly rise, so plan in a little time when you can be alone to gather your thoughts. Getting some fresh air is a good idea, or having a hot bath on Christmas Eve when the children have (finally) gone to bed.
Think of others. Remember family members or friends who might be alone, or who find the festive period difficult. Just popping in, dropping off a card, or giving them a call can really help.
Delegate. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. If you are not careful, you can end up slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Share out tasks among your family and guests and make a plan of all the chores.
Go easy on the booze. We all like to toast Christmas with a glass or two, but if there is any tension in your family then steer clear of too much alcohol, it will only aggravate the situation.
Finally, remember to have fun! Make sure you remember to give yourself a few treats and it’s more important to have a good time together than to make sure everything is 100 per cent perfect.