>Six tips for beating Christmas family arguments

>I stumbled across this article earlier on today while browsing on the internet, and was wondering if it was really that easy.

The article states: “With one piece of research suggesting that even the best families will argue for seven hours over the Christmas week, or a horrendous three hours per day in the worst case, here are some tips for avoiding fallout this festive period.

1. Start interesting and engaging conversation: if families simply stare at the TV all day they’re bound to get bored and irritable.

2. Play family games: group activities are a great way to bond with each other and family games can bring all the generations together.

3. Don’t over stretch yourself: if the thought of cooking for 12 people worries you keep it simple and avoid the stress. Everyone will feel the pressure if you are stressed, so keep it simple and enjoy yourself.

4. Get some sleep: don’t miss out on the fun but remember we all get irritable when we don’t get enough sleep.

5. Take time out: a short break from everyone will give you a little breather and chance to recoup.

6. Ban texting at the table: if your children are texting their friends at the table then they’re not engaging with everyone else.”

Christmas is perhaps my favourite time of year, always has been. However since having E almost 8 years ago it’s kind of lost it’s appeal. It sounds bizarre as obviously I enjoy making sure she has a great christmas, including numerous trips to santa, far too many presents and taking 2 weeks off work to spend that extra bit of time with her, but it just doesn’t hold the same appeal as it did pre E.

Maybe it’s because I had a glittering social life back then, there wasnt a night I didnt spend either in the pub, a club, a works do or a party of some description, and now I cant actually remember the last time I ventured out of the house other than for a boring works do in some dodgey old hotel – like I did last friday! Or maybe it’s because I was immune to the ritual christmas arguments – probably down to the vast amounts of alcohol consumed over the holiday season, it always seemed better when you kept your blood alcohol level at a certain point that just about made everything seem bareable!

This year however the arguments in the above article promised for “seven hours over the Christmas week” have started already and I’m not even sitting round the table with the family for Christmas Dinner yet! Nothing particularly of note, just silly arguments that are blown way out of proportion and at least from my point of view are made worse by the fact that I have a list of shopping as long as my arm which the incessant snowing is preventing me from actually getting out there to the shops to buy anything, whether that be food or presents for the afore mentioned moaning family members!

The idea of sitting down with my family on christmas day (this will be at my mums house and include mum, step dad, E, sister, brother in law, 2 baby nieces age 1 and 3 months) and “Starting an interesting and engaging conversation” has chills running down my spine, surely this is a sure fire way of inducing yet more arguments rather than stopping any starting in the first place, especially with the varied opinions in our family!

“Playing family games” – fair enough I give you that one, it can be great fun, but what ineviatbly happens is that E will get the ump about losing or not getting as many points as someone else and we will have the usual hissy fit, which is then followed by much indulgence of her sweet tooth by “nanny”

“Don’t over stretch yourself” – this one’s pretty easy this year as it’s at my mums so I luckily don’t have to cook for all of us, however I have volunteered to make the dessert and am looking forward to trying my chocolate cheesecake and “girdlebuster pie” a la Nigella!

“Get some sleep” – I’ve been pretty much sleep deprived for the last 8 years and 8 months! I’ve either been pregnant and cant sleep, kept awake by E screaming the place down at god awful times of the night or worrying about whether I can hear someone outside the door, being too uncomfortable in the bed etc. Get some sleep – I wish!

“Take time out” – apparently a short break from everyone will be beneficial – Paris anyone???

As for the texting at the table, we wouldnt have the fingers left to text if my mum caught us texting like naughty teenagers at the dinner table!

Can anyone tell this will be my first Christmas since I stopped smoking about 9 months back?

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