There – we said it! Christmas is coming.  Now a mere six weeks away Christmas brings joy and happiness as we all come together and spend time together as a family, often for the first time in a very long time. 

For some of us though, it’s not all sparkle and smiles.  Spending an extended amount of time with our partner or extended family members can often lead to stress, arguments and also separation!  Divorce rates are known to spike at this time of year and it’s thanks to the festivities often bringing things to a head.  So how might you keep tinsel, turkey and tact at the forefront of your Christmas? 

Stopping family arguments at Christmas

Time out

When you feel that things are becoming pressured, over-bearing or annoying, take some time. Dip off to a quiet room to read, or wrap up and go for a short stroll and change of scenery.  You don’t have to be gone for long, but a short break will give you the headspace you’re looking for. And the dog will thank you too!

Forget the past

Tempers can start to fray and old wounds may easily become painful once more – and the longer you’re together, the more likely this is to happen. If you’ve moved on from a historical and painful situation, try not to revisit it in a negative way.  It can lead to no good!

Open mind

As difficult as it may be, try to keep an open and positive mind. Don’t spiral into misery and gloom. If you’re struggling, the chances are that others are too. Try to keep the mood light - and enjoy.

Set behaviour and conversation boundaries

Remember, particularly if you’re hosting, that it is within your gift to gently steer behaviour and conversation to things that you find acceptable and which are non-confrontational.  Hot topics for disagreement this Christmas will most certainly revolve around Brexit, the election and possibly even, the Royal Family. Keep them off the table.

Celebrate differences

We all have different viewpoints plus different likes and dislikes.  Try to remember this when you’re all together.  Not everyone is the same as you when it comes to views on politics, whether Father Christmas is real or whether it’s right to eat meat – and that’s ok!

Keep everyone moving

Plan your festivities and activities with a focus is on doing.  Keeping people busy and laughing leaves little time for arguments!  This might include playing board games, computer games, watching a Christmas film or programme together, taking a walk or going to the local pantomime. Have a list ready … just in case.

Of course, not every relationship can be saved and it’s true to say that here at Robertsons we see an increased level of family law disputes immediately after the Christmas period. If you find yourself in this situation or would like to chat about the options available to you, please contact our team via law@robsols.co.uk. We’re here to support you.