Life-Saving Tricks To Diffuse Christmas Tension

Life-Saving Tricks To Diffuse Christmas Tension

Family tensions and emotions always seem to run high around Christmas. However, we have some great tips to help your family diffuse Christmas tensions.

While we long for family harmony, Christmas festivities seem to bring out the worst in our nearest and dearest. Here’s how to curb the quarrelling

Schedule activities
A huge cause of tension is boredom, so schedule activities every day to break up the time you’re all together. Try a trip to a Christmas market, a walk, the cinema, a panto, a family games session. And don’t feel you all have to be together constantly. Just be clear about when you expect the whole family to be present so everyone knows when they can get some down time.

Refuse to react
When things start to kick off between your guests, it’s important to remain detached from other people’s efforts to be disruptive. Step out of the room for a moment and take three long slow deep breaths repeating the word ‘calm’. By not reacting, you are showing the other person that their behaviour does not have the desired impact on you, and hopefully they’ll get bored quickly. As well as eliminating odours, Ambi Pur air freshener leaves behind a calming fragrance that should help bring down tensions.

Distract the critics
Super-critical family members need to be given a task before they start finding fault and become a source of irritation. Whatever you give them to do as part of the Christmas preparation, make sure it will take them a good long time, then tell them how brilliantly they’ve done it.

Make a festive rota
Squabbling can reach epic levels over domestic chores, but no way are you preparing and clearing up after every meal without some help. Draw up a rota in advance so your helpers know when to be on hand for waitressing and veg chopping, and pin it up somewhere visible.

Reinvent Christmas
A huge source of strife is everyone having a different idea of the ‘perfect’ Christmas, so while Auntie expects carols and sherry before the presents are unwrapped, younger family members may expect to be tearing off the wrapping paper at 5am. Create a new family ritual, like a treasure hunt, a DIY panto or karaoke.

Amnesty on presents
To prevent those awkward moments when your token gift gets outclassed by their lavish one, agree on a price limit, or to only gift the children. You could even do a Secret Santa with an upper price limit if the kids are teenage or older.

Invite a guest for the holidays
Inviting a non-family member will help keep your family’s worst excesses at bay. A single family friend, a work colleague who’s far from home, a neighbour who’s at a loose end – make them guest of honour and your family will hopefully bite their tongue when they get the urge to moan and snipe.

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