How to avoid booze-fuelled family arguments at Christmas time

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Don't let a festive fall-out spoil your Christmas celebrations...

Couple arguing, dating and relationship

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Most arguments between family members at Christmas are fuelled by too much booze, so isn't it time to think before you scream?

Drinkaware are determined to help Brits make peace this Christmas so they've come up with some helpful advice about alcohol arguments. Take a look below and let us know what you think...

Alcohol makes you tell the truth


When you're smashed off Baileys and champagne you're more likely to say whatever pops into your head. This is because, shock horror, alcohol lowers your inhibitions. Remember what seems funny at the time is likely to really offend Uncle Geoffrey and Aunty Irene, so try and stay on your best behaviour.

Alcohol reduces your tolerance level?


Relate Counsellor, Christine Northan, told us, "Drinking lowers your defences and changes your mood. You might be talking about politics with a family member but start getting angry because you're cross with them about something else that has happened."

So, basically you need to resolve the issues you have with your family before you crack open that second bottle of bubbly.

Family Psychotherapist Marsha Myers believes that drinking too much is something we do to cope with the pressure and expectations of Christmas.

Films and TV make us think that idyllic family Christmases are the norm and that we should be having fun all the time when that's rarely a reality. She said, "Many people put pressure on themselves because of their expectations. But relationships are intensified at holiday times and there's more time to annoy each other."

Here are a few things you can do to avoid drink-fuelled family arguments this Christmas...


+ If you always clash with one particular family member talk to them before the event. Call them or write them a letter to explain that, despite your differences, you want to have a nice Christmas free from arguments. Hopefully they will be just as willing to comply.

+ Create some space for yourself during the day. Go for a walk, escape to your bedroom, or hide yourself in the garden until you can calm down.

+ Always think before you speak, particularly if you've had a drink. If in doubt, always take the high ground - everyone else sat round the table will respect you more for it.

+ Have a few topics of conversation planned before you sit down for dinner, like films, books or family memories. Steer clear of politics or sport if you've got particularly competitive relatives.

+ Plan evening games where people won't get angry with each other, like Monopoly, Cluedo and Taboo rather than Pictionary.

+ Remember, it's Christmas! You might only get to see some of your relatives once or twice a year, so make the most of the time you spend with them.

Are your family prone to Christmas arguments?

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