A survey released by Relate has revealed that 90% of people feel that spending time with immediate family is essential for a happy Christmas.
An argument-free Christmas came second on many British Christmas lists, with 84% hoping to avoid a feud over the festive period.
The survey of over 2,000 people aged 16 and over also showed that the most common worry was the cost of Christmas (39%). Sadly, a further 13% said that they were worried about feeling lonely, with 25-39 year olds feeling the most concerned (19%).
When it comes to gift-giving, getting the right present was more important for young adults (aged 16-24) than any other age group, with 39% saying they cared about receiving the right gift. Interestingly, women appeared to be more concerned about giving the right presents than men, with 33% of females rating this as very important, compared with only 19% of males.
Relate Counsellor Clare Prendergast said: “Christmas can be a great chance to spend time with loved ones, but it can also be really stressful. High expectations, money worries and family tensions can put a real strain on celebrations. It can seem impossible to please everyone and sometimes the family home can feel like a simmering pot just waiting to boil over.
“But simple techniques like thinking about what you want to say before voicing any concerns can really help to cool things down. And some frustrations or arguments can be headed off before they ever happen by making sure that everyone gets a chance to air hopes and worries before the season gets into full swing. So get talking now!”
Here are Relate’s five top tips for ensuring everyone has a happier Christmas:
1. Start talking early. Encourage everyone to be honest about their festive hopes and fears.
2. Don’t overpromise. If something is impractical, or too expensive, it’s ok to explain why it can’t happen.
3. Try to compromise. For example, your partner might want to spend a cosy Christmas alone together, whereas you might want to be with your wider family. Compromise by waking up together and having a special breakfast before joining the family for Christmas dinner.
4. It’s ok to say ‘no’. If someone’s wishes can’t be accommodated, explain why and see if it’s possible to do something similar at a later date.
5. Enjoy yourself! Take a step back and try not to get too bogged down in the organisation.
Relate offers information, advice and counselling for all relationships, including family counselling. Call 0300 100 1234 or visit www.relate.org.uk for more information on how Relate can support you and your family this Christmas.
What’s at the top of your Christmas list this year? Please share your thoughts by commenting in the box below.