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7 Tips to Manage Tension in Your Festive Relationships


It’s that time of year! Stress levels are rising as everyone feels the pressure to enjoy a perfect Christmas. Some people though may be newly single and apprehensive at the prospect of being alone at such a family time. Others may have relationship issues, concerns about visitors and in-laws or be tense at the prospect of spending extended time with their partner.

Let’s consider 7 tips to manage tension in your festive relationships.

– Accept invitations if you’re alone. Acquaint others with your situation and allow them to include you in their plans. Be a good guest and you’ll be a welcome addition to their day. And if you’re partnered it can be good to accept invitations and introduce a change of activity, conversation and scenery.

Don’t expect everything to be perfect. It’s an impossible ideal, placing undue pressure on yourself and others. And besides, it’s often the mishaps that become an affectionately remembered part of family folklore.

Present a united front, even if you disagree in private. Support each other, saving serious conversations for a more private time when you’re alone. Be quick to apologise if you’re in the wrong or have said too much. Be loyal and gracious.


– Get outside. Hours of television, alcohol and grazing on chocolate can cause tensions to erupt. Organise a game of football or a treasure hunt. Fresh air gives everyone a breather and can introduce some healthy competition.

– Preparing a tasty soup, stew or casserole in advance can be a welcome alternative to an excess of rich food. Provide a hearty treat after a brisk walk and bring some reality back to your relationships.

– Get people involved. Rather than one person insisting on doing everything and becoming over-tired and resentful make the festive preparations more inclusive and fun. Even children can have tasks, like folding napkins. They’ll often take pride in their responsibilities. Suggest mother-in-law cook the dish she’s ‘famous’ for, or encourage others to organise a quiz or game of charades. Give them credit for their efforts.

– Include yourself in your timetable. You’ll enjoy Christmas more and be less stressed if you dedicate an occasional 30 minutes to a relaxing bath or reading a book. Ask overnight guests to babysit for a few hours so you can go out, chat and enjoy some festive time together.

These thoughts offer 7 tips to manage tension in your festive relationships.

Source by Susan Leigh

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