Tis’ the season to fight with the family right? For many people, Christmas day is just that. Expectation, alcohol and argumentative family-members have a tendency to come together and erupt on the 25th December- everyone has an opinion on how the sprouts need to be cooked (who likes sprouts anyway?), your uncle Henry drinks to the point of being a little worse for wear and your mum stands and bickers with her sisters in the kitchen. Well, it doesn’t have to be like that anymore. Here are five suggestions on how to avoid a domestic with your family on Christmas day;
- Whilst you’re at university, you’ll notice that older relations will incessantly ask you how the course is treating you and dun dun dun, ‘what are you hoping to do when you finish?’ to avoid the judgment and lectures from opinionated relations, always have an answer to this question. Even it’s a vague and just leads to some awkward small talk, it’s better than entering into a situation where you’re being lectured on the vital need to have ‘a plan’. It is also important to remember that you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. So what if your cousin Billy is the same age as you but drives a BMW and works for MTV? Sometimes it’s better just to let things slide, and know that the only person worth competing with is yourself.
- All families have secret, simmering tensions, whether that’s because of the age-old sibling rivalry, a dodgy choice of boyfriend or because you missed that wedding back in 2009. After a few drinks at Christmas dinner it can be very easy to slip back into these arguments. Try to avoid this by focusing on the present as much as possible, ask your relation how their job is treating them, where they are planning on going on holiday that year or how their friends are keeping. This keeps the focus on them and away from your festering rivalry.
- We all know the scene, your little brother is in a strop because he didn’t get the right game he wanted for his Xbox, your mum is losing the plot over the timings over the Christmas dinner, your dad has had a little too much to drink and your cousins are chasing each other around the house with the remains of the wrapping paper. At this point, it would be very easy to run away from it all. But just remember that Christmas lasts for one day. Try to take it in your stride. Help out in the house you’re staying at, maybe stack the dishwasher or take the dog for a walk. By helping out you’re inevitably helping yourself too.
- Beware of the dangerous combination of alcohol consumption and board games. The two should never be found in the same sentence together, let alone with competitive family members on Christmas day. If you’re trying to avoid a family domestic, then try to keep the competitive games to a minimum. Focus instead on toasts at the dinner table where you find something nice to say about the person opposite you, or sit down and watch a family film together.
- And finally, try to remember what it’s all about. Christmas is for family, food and festivities. Take pleasure in the small things and try not too take too much heed of small annoyances throughout the day, instead be grateful for all the blessings you have in your life- a great family, lovely friends and a bright future. Enjoy the company of your family and soak up the festive spirit! After all, it does only come around once a year.