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Family survival at Christmas

Make it through the longest day of the year in one piece!

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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As much as we love them, spending too much time with family could make even the Dalai Lama lose his cool. There’s nothing like Christmas to make your house feel a little claustrophobic, especially if you’re surrounded by your family 24/7. Some people love having the whole gang together but others couldn't think of anything less appealing.

Heading home with no idea how you're going to handle it? Never fear, we're right here with some helpful and handy tips.

Going home to someone you can't stand? It's only one day, it'll be grand

There’s nothing worse than being forced to spend Christmas with people you don’t like. It's even worse when they’re related to you.

First of all it might be good to get some perspective. Are these relations you only see once a year? It might be tough, but take a deep breath, and try to play nice. It’s definitely easier said than done, but it’s only one day after all. Look on the bright side: You don’t have to see them for another 364 days. Yay.

Santa didn't get it right? Don't end up having a fight 

Practice your happy face for when you open that awful Christmas present that you’re bound to get. After all, it’s not about the present, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Don't like the food? Try not to let it put you in a bad mood

Compliment the food even if it’s not to your tastes. Someone's been working hard to make sure it's on the table so it'd be a little bit rude not to at least say thanks and attempt to eat the bits you DO like.

If all else fails, think of dessert and the selection box that will come after dinner.

Want to avoid the third degree? Bring out your own curiosity

Are you afraid of all the, ‘What are you doing when you finish school/college?’ ‘Have you a boyfriend or girlfriend?’ questions about to come your way?

Confuse the hell out of the other party and get in there first with the questions. Faking interest in the lives of all the relations around you, may be the best way to save yourself from the awkward questions.

Feeling caged in? Head out for a stroll

If there are a lot of people around and you need some headspace, get out of the house for an hour. Wrap up warm and go outside for a stroll. It's a great idea to head out just before or after dinner because the exercise might either help you work up an appetite or digest that giant feast. It might also be a good way to get out of doing the dishes.

Already close to the brink? Don't even think of solving things with drink

Go easy on the alcohol. Having a few drinks might seem like a good idea but it won’t make the day any better, in fact you may get wound up more easily and find everyone even less tolerable which won’t end well.

Try to form an alliance with your siblings if you have any, and help each other stay sane. Yes, you might revert back to being eight years old and fighting over the remote, but spending time at home is so much easier when you have allies. Form a buddy system and step in when the other person needs rescuing from the awkward questions. If you don't have siblings you can team up with cousins, parents, aunts and uncles or neighbours too.

And before the world ends, remember you've got friends

If it makes you feel any better, you're probably not the only one trying to survive Christmas! Arrange to meet up with friends on Stephens' Day and share your Christmas horror stories.


Have you got some Christmas Day survival tips? Share them in the comments below!

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Published December 20th, 2013
Last updated October 19th, 2015
Tags christmas family mental health
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