Christmas issues:

4. Family problems at Christmas

Posted on: 06 January, 2015 by

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Families can be a source of grief at Christmas. People are often obliged to spend time with relatives they would rather avoid. Families may be fragmented by marital breakdowns, divorce, long-standing feuds or other relationship conflicts. People also drink too much at Christmas which can cause arguments and even violence and the whole atmosphere can be one of stress and anxiety.

Many people feel trapped by their family at Christmas and the opening of presents can be an awkward experience as people pretend to be overjoyed with gifts they clearly don’t want. Tempers often fray as relatives consume copious amounts of food and drink and long-standing grievances rise to the surface. This is the reality when people who have nothing in common are obliged to come together year after year.

It can be a good idea to keep visits to troublesome relatives to a minimum, and if matters deteriorate, make excuses to leave before the situation gets out of hand. Sometimes the real reason behind family disputes is the wish that things were different, but there’s no point in trying to get your relatives to change. It is also pointless to have the same arguments about the same topic with the same family member every Christmas. Neither of you is likely to change your personality by next year so you need to accept each other as you are.

If you cannot get along with certain members of your family, it might be a good idea to avoid a similar situation arising next year, perhaps by making alternative arrangements for the next Christmas holiday season. This may seem drastic and it may upset some relatives, but you cannot be expected to make everyone happy. Sometimes you simply need to do what is best for you.