At this very moment, you may be decking the halls with boughs of holly. But when it comes to family, the festive season is often the very opposite of ‘jolly’.
Tension can soar as celebrating with our nearest and dearest brings bad feelings to the surface and then to the boil. Here are five common festive family flashpoints, and our essential survival tips.
1 Behaviour battles
Relatives descend for the holidays, and suddenly everything’s under the critical microscope – particularly how young ones behave. But whether you’re outraged that your teenagers’ manners are being criticised, or panicked that your grandkids are running riot, stay calm. The festive season isn’t the time to make a stand so, however, tempted, for a few days, don’t try to either enforce or defend your own codes. Instead, give old and young enough separate space that they don’t lose patience, but enough time together that they find common ground and mutual appreciation.
2 Hosting hassles
The classic question ‘who do we spend Christmas with?’ can create huge family tension. The issues here aren’t just the practical ones of who hosts, who visits, who does the Christmas Eve motorway drive, but the meaning of the get-togethers themselves.
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