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This is how to survive Christmas with your family


By Hannah Hillyer
25th Dec 2023
This is how to survive Christmas with your family

Christmas can be a trying time. Tensions are high, no one has any time to themselves and don't even mention the post-present opening hanger. Here's how to survive the festive season with family.

We know this time of year is all about spending time with those you love, but what if they do your head in? It doesn’t mean you don’t get along, it’s just spending a minimum of three days crammed into a house together can test anyone’s patience. Follow the below rules to avoid any festive feuds breaking out before your second helpings of Christmas dinner.

Delegate

One of the biggest stressors of this period is cooking, it can seem like one endless meal after another with little space to catch your breath in between (let alone your appetite). Make sure it’s not you left doing the bulk of it all, or if someone else usually dons the chef’s hat, offer some help. Delegating a job to everyone takes the stress off one person and makes the meal more collaborative. Let go of being a control freak and give one person the task of roasting the potatoes, let someone else look after cooking the turkey, while another volunteer can tackle dessert. Easy – and no fighting!

Get out for a walk

The one thing that saves my family from murdering each other by Stephen’s Day is getting out for a walk. The morning of the 26th is a great time to get outdoors and try to walk off Christmas dinner (before you get started on the leftovers). At this point, cabin fever has most likely set in and you’ll be in need of seeing the outside world. The bit of fresh air also helps shift that sugar fog and clears your head, plus you’ll feel far less guilty parking yourself in front of the TV for the rest of the afternoon.

Make a list of films you want to watch

When you’re all squashed like sardines into your family home, even choosing a movie to watch can feel like a mammoth task. As we most likely return to our child state whilst at home with our parents, lots of bickering ensues and 30 minutes later, you still haven’t chosen a film. To avoid these silly rows, make a list of all your favourite Christmas movies and pick them out of a hat at random when it’s time to watch. Seems simple, but even the most harmonious of families can lose it deciding between Elf and Jingle All the Way.

Don’t put wrappers back in the tin

Now, this is a contentious one but probably the most important on the list. DO NOT BE THIS PERSON. Eat your Rose/Quality Street/Celebration/Hero/whichever it is and put the wrapper in the bin. Throw it on the floor, put it in your pocket, shove it down the side of the couch, but do not put it back in the tin. Nothing starts a family argument quicker than thinking you’ve got the last Caramel Barrel only to discover it’s a wrapper.

Personally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without my family driving each other up the walls. However, falling out over any of the above is a waste of time and these arguments should be saved for real problems, like who didn’t close the kitchen door and let the dog get at the turkey, you know? It’s one of the few times of the year we really get to spend time with all our family like this, so try and enjoy it and keep the bickering to a minimum.

Feature image via @matthewkoma