Helping you get through tough times

Managing relationships at Christmas

Christmas holidays can be a stressful enough time for families. Households can feel a little overcrowded and tempers can get a little fraught.

You’re in close quarters with your parents and siblings, and sometimes grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts come to stay. Or you might be forced to stay in someone else’s space.

snowman_familyStrangers, but related

You might only see some of these relations a couple of times a year and not have much in common with them. This can be especially awkward if you happen to be the same age as someone else and everyone expects you to be best friends.

Families are complicated, and with different personalities around the house, things can get fairly tense.

Keep your cool and try respect other peoples’ space. If you’re stressing out, other people probably are too so cut them some slack if you can. If things are starting to bother you, take some time out. Go for a walk, listen to music, or read for a while.

Spending time with your boyfriend/girlfriend over Christmas

A new romance can be really exciting, and spending Christmas hanging out with your new boyfriend or girlfriend might seem more important or appealing than family dinners and watching TV specials with your grandparents.

But, Christmas is a time for family as well as friends, making it hard to balance all your commitments.

Putting aside time for your boyfriend or girlfriend, say on Christmas Eve, Christmas night or on St Stephen’s day, means you can make sure you don’t hurt anyone’s feeling.

If you’re going away for a family holiday for Christmas, you should do something special a few days before or after you leave. There’s no reason why you can’t give someone an early present, you could even make them dinner and have your own early Christmas day.

Buying Christmas presents

When it comes to Christmas gifts for your girlfriend or boyfriend, especially when things are new, the pressure to get them something great can get to you and you can be tempted to go outside your price range.

But, expensive presents don’t necessarily mean more to someone.

Don’t feel bad about sticking what you can afford. Be creative and think of something romantic to do for them that doesn’t cost anything, like taking them on a picnic or making them a CD with their favourite songs.

When it comes to giving gifts, unique presents that come from a thoughtful personal place should have more impact.

This article was last reviewed on 11 December 2017

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