The study claims that family members will also squabble over the time at which to eat Christmas dinner
The study claims that family members will also squabble over the time at which to eat Christmas dinner

Christmas family arguments most likely to be sparked over what to watch on TV, study claims

Brexit is allegedly another of the reasons why families will fall out over the festive season

Grant Bailey
Thursday 13 December 2018 13:57
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Millions of families will be feuding this Christmas – over what to watch on TV, according to a study

A survey of 2,000 families revealed tempers are most likely to run high over which TV special or film to watch after Christmas dinner.

Similarly, who does the washing up after the feast is another topic likely to cause rifts on 25 December.

Other arguments will which blow up over the Christmas period will involve who gets which bedroom to stay in, who gets to host the family and who sits where around the table on the big day.

Steve Reid, CEO of sleep technology company Simba, said: “Lots of factors can raise tensions at Christmas time.

“Whether it’s the pandemonium of having everyone under one roof, packed social calendars, losing the amount of quality sleep we get, or stress about the big day fraying our nerves, each can keep us from being our usual calm, well-rested selves.”

The study also found three in 10 Britons believe they will have an argument with their loved ones at least once a day over their Christmas stay.

Thankfully a Christmas argument is rarely a long-standing affair with 44 per cent of the bust-ups fizzling out in less than 10 minutes.

And over a third think Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a festive feud between friends and family.

Tempers are likely to be frayed for two in five Brits, who regularly spend their Christmas away from home at someone else’s house.

Of these, 40 per cent said their sleeping arrangement was usually uncertain, and only 48 per cent thought they were guaranteed a comfy bed on their stay.

Two-thirds of Britons spending Christmas away from home said their sleep suffers over this period, and 36 per cent think this leads them to become more irritable.

Despite this extra discomfort, a third of Britons would much rather be an invited guest over Christmas – rather than overseeing the festivities as the host of their own gathering.

One in seven think having to appear to be in a good mood all the time is the worst thing about Christmas, and one in eight believe the season is marred by the lack of sleep they are able to get.

The average Briton will get just six hours of sleep on Christmas Eve when anticipation is at its height, and one in 10 manage just three or four hours of slumber.

Mr Reid added: “These findings show that it’s natural to feel both ecstatic and exhausted at the prospect of Christmas."

The 12 feuds of Christmas

1. What film or TV show to watch

2. Who washes up

3. The temperature of the heating

4. What time to open presents

5. How much alcohol to drink

6. How long to spend at each relative's house

7. People arriving late

8. How much to spend on each person

9. What time to eat Christmas dinner

10. Staying off phones at the dinner table

11. Who won the board game

12. Political conversations, such as Brexit

Top 10 causes of a sleepless night at Christmas

1. Over-indulgence

2. Stressing about preparation

3. Drinking too much

4. Excitement causing me to stay awake

5. Wrapping presents late

6. Waiting for children to sleep in order to put presents out

7. Staying at a relative's house

8. Heartburn and indigestion

9. Children waking up throughout the night

10. Having guests stay over

Hope Bastine's top five tips for keeping the peace this Christmas

  1.  Be prepared: Reduce tension on the big day by getting yourself organised ahead of time. Christmas Day is loaded with expectation, from the presents to the food to the company, and you can do yourself a favour by ensuring you are calm and organised, whatever role you aim to play in the festivities.

  2. Everything in moderation: Christmas is a time to unwind and let go of some of the pressures which have built up over the year. It’s a time to catch up with others and fill our social calendars, but this can come at a cost to our health. Rich food and drink can be enjoyable in the short-term, but over an entire season of goodwill all that excess can have an effect on our health, our mood, and our sleep.

  3. Consider your wellbeing: Christmas is a disruption of routine. Gym sessions are replaced with staff parties, salads are swapped for roast dinners and a sensible bedtime is traded for late-night movies. It’s important in this hectic time to remember the essentials, to make time for yourself and to ensure you get good rest.

  4. Set realistic expectations of others: Everyone wants their Christmas to be perfect, but the faults and foibles of your family are never more apparent than when gathered around a table together. Grumbles are likely to rise when all those personalities, who might not see each other for the rest of the year, are forced into close proximity, stuffed with turkey and marinated in Bucks Fizz. In moments like this it’s important to take a breather and, keep some perspective, and remember that Christmas is supposed to be fun!

  5. Be proactive in tough spots: Just as the festive season is a great time to catch up, it is also an equally good time for prying relatives to have a nosy in your business. Expect and pre-empt these questions. Changed jobs? Moved homes? Broken up with a partner? Try to identify subjects of conversation which are likely to come up which might be mishandled and lead to tension, and consider ways to limit the damage they could do ahead of time. Be proactive, not reactive to tough or uncomfortable conversations.

SWNS

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