How to Survive the Family at Christmas

Last month I talked about how to survive the office Christmas party. This week though I’m talking about how to survive the family at Christmas!

I’m incredibly lucky. I want to spend time with my family and my parents live, in my opinion, in one of the most beautiful places in Devon. But I still have those moments when I need to get away from everyone and get out of the house!

Most of us left home at 18 when we went to university. So going home can often dredge up a few things we thought we’d forgotten!

In addition, so many more of us live alone than used to be the case. Solo living often results in us getting set in our ways. Then, when we’re thrust into the company of others, all with their own ways of doing things, sparks can fly and arguments result. Something I’m sure we all want to avoid!


There is so much expectation on us to have the perfect Christmas. But with working, preparing the house, buying presents and then seeing all of the family and friends it can be a stressful time.

And, if you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) the festive season is a fraught one for you!

If you DO have a partner, then the question of visiting family can be both a logistical (if distances are involved) and diplomatic nightmare – what with either half of the family wanting a slice of you on the big day itself. The result of which being that you may find yourself spending most of your holiday on the road with a hunted look in your eyes.

To help with calming those frayed nerves and avoiding any family arguments follow the tips below.

  1. Set expectations

Have a conversation with the family as soon as you can about when you will be arriving and leaving. Divide chores before you arrive so that one of you isn’t in the kitchen for the whole Christmas period whilst everyone else is getting merry!


  1. Create time for yourself 

There can be so many social engagements with colleagues, family and friends that you want to attend. Result: you’re exhausted by the time you wake up on Christmas Day. So book in an occasional evening at home so that you can enjoy this festive time without being over-tired.


  1. Get some fresh air and exercise 

If you’re visiting family then it’s all to easy to stagger from breakfast to lunch to collapsing in front of a film in the afternoon. Then, before you know it, it’s 4pm and dark and you haven’t been out of the house.

So, get everyone out of the house and go for a walk. This will give you all some space and exercise and you’ll all feel more energized when you get back home.


  1. Volunteer 

It is easy to get swept away with the excitement of Christmas. But I think this is a time to remember those that may be less fortunate then ourselves or may be on their own.

There are lots of volunteer opportunities such as visiting a care home and chatting with the residents, going into a homeless shelter and serving food or simply having a clear out of your wardrobe and donating warm clothes, bedding and toys that you and your children no longer use.


  1. Go on holiday 

If you aren’t able to spend time with family this Christmas or chose not to then you could always look at a last minute holiday and catch some winter sun!

I do hope that you have a lovely Christmas where ever and whoever you are spending it with.


And if you’ve got some top tips of your own for surviving the festive season with your relationships in one piece I’d love to hear them.