Festive Feuds: Coping with family at Christmas

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Gwen Ellis recommends that flexibility is key when trying to keep the peace at Christmas

As the festive season is upon us, many will be returning home to spend Christmas with loved ones.

The celebrations can bring family and friends together, but it can also ignite age-old arguments.

Whether it is discussing politics over Christmas dinner or fierce debates over what to watch on the television; it can be a stressful time of year.

Gwen Ellis, a counsellor at Relate Cymru, has offered tips on how to cope when you are home for the holidays.

"When you come home from university or have lived away from home for a while, it is always difficult to slot back into the family dynamic.

"It might seem as if you are slotting back into the role you once played in the family before you left home or you might find yourself being treated more a child than an adult" Ms Ellis explained.

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"Don't just turn up a few days before Christmas and take over" says Gwen

"One of the first things I'd recommend anyone to do is phone whoever is in charge of Christmas this year to see what you can do to help.

"Don't just turn up a few days before Christmas and take over - be willing to offer help but also try not to interfere.

"Perhaps offer to do the washing up after dinner or to take the dog for a walk."

Ms Ellis added: "If your dietary requirements have changed, let whoever is in charge of cooking Christmas dinner know well in advance and try to be considerate in your own planning.

"I'd also say be careful how much you drink. I don't mean to say don't drink at all but you may find that old feuds and resentments may crop up more easily if you've had more alcohol to drink than usual."

How to Keep the Peace at Christmas

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A guide to keeping the peace this Christmas

Above all else, Gwen Ellis has shared some key tips to remember when visiting home for Christmas:

Be Aware: Know what might trigger resentments and do not bring up old arguments if you do not have to

Be Helpful: Offer help if it is needed, or try asking ahead if there is anything specific you can bring home with you

Be Kind: Family is family, and sometimes someone says something you might not agree with - just try to remember to be kind and rise above it

Be Flexible: Everyone might want to do different activities at Christmas or you may all be fighting over the television remote, but remember to be flexible. You can always catch up another time