7 ways to have a stress-free Christmas and avoid family fights

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Don't let family arguments ruin the harmony of the festive period - follow this easy guide to keeping the peace this Christmas...

Couple arguing, dating and relationship

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We love going home for Christmas. Mum's cooking, dad's novelty jumpers, granddad falling asleep on the sofa…So why do we start to feel the pressure building after a few days with the family?

Family discord is totally normal at Christmas. According to research, 3.18pm on Christmas Day is the peak time for festive fall-outs.

However, there are some things you can do to keep things calm this Christmas...

HOW TO HAVE A CALM CHRISTMAS


Stop clock-watching


One of the biggest stresses at Christmas comes from trying to get everything ready for a certain time, so take the pressure off by going with the flow a bit more.

Set rough timings for eating Christmas lunch and opening presents, but don't panic if they don't happen exactly on time. You'll find that being more relaxed means fewer arguments.

Turn the other cheek


We know this can be incredibly hard, especially when your sister knows exactly what to say to make you want to poke her in the eye. But many family disputes can be completely avoided by quietly overlooking an offence and moving on - just let digs bounce off you.

Keep your blood sugar up


Lots of family bickering comes down to people being hungry. Set out some nibbles for people to graze on before lunch to avoid a dip in anyone's blood sugar.

Stress free christmas

This could be you on Christmas day. Calm.



Agree on a TV schedule in advance


Don't let Christmas afternoon descend into a scrap over the TV remote. Instead, sit down with a copy of the Radio Times and decide in advance, when the pressure's off. Make a note of what you're going to watch and what you're going to record for later. You don't want to discover that the end of the Eastenders Special is missing when you sit down to watch it on Boxing Day.

Avoid Monopoly at all costs


This should go without saying, but avoid any games that are likely to cause or exacerbate arguments among family members. If dad insists on playing a game, choose something team-based, like Pictionary or charades.

Be a team player


Don't leave mum to sweat away in the kitchen while the rest of the family fart around in the living room. Ask mama to assign a useful task to every person, from peeling potatoes to making the sauces or setting the table. Many hands make light work.

Show your gratitude


For many families, sitting down to eat together is a rare occasion - so make the most of it. Before diving in to the cranberry sauce, propose a toast to your family and thank everyone for their contributions to the day.

HOW TO HAVE A STRESS-FREE CHRISTMAS

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