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Avoiding arguments over the holiday season:

The holiday season should be about relaxing and enjoying time with friends and family. For many couples, the season can soon turn nasty with endless arguments and heightened stress-levels
By Peggy Tee
Date: December 23 2011
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The holiday season should be about relaxing and enjoying time with friends and family. For many couples, the season can soon turn nasty with endless arguments and heightened stress-levels. This is one of the only times of the year when couples can stop worrying about work, so don’t spoil it by getting involved in petty quarrels. Here are some tips to help you maintain a happy and harmonious holiday season without the squabbles.

Don’t spend too much money

Couples often argue about money-related issues throughout the year and the holiday period can heighten feelings of worry even further. Before the holidays, assess your income level and review the previous year. Did you find it difficult to cope financially in January and February? Is you income level different this year? Although your partner maybe disinterested in planning the present buying, it is important to engage him in discussion to decide who you are going to buy for and an appropriate spending limit. Although it’s not the most romantic of approaches, set gift budgets for each other too. When the holiday season arrives, the thought of paying off credit card bills will be eased and stress-levels will be lowered resulting in less frequent arguments.

Decide where you are spending your time and stick to it

This particular subject can cause the most heated arguments during the holidays. As a couple, do you spend your time with his parents or yours? Compromise is the only way disagreements will be settled. Take into consideration family traditions, how far away your families live and what you want out of the holidays. If you desperately want to spend the holidays with your family and he is adamant that he is going to visit his own family, then perhaps consider spending some time apart to satisfy everyone’s needs. Alternatively, if you think you’d be happier spending it together and keeping family time to a minimum, go right ahead. It’s a season for you to enjoy, so don’t try to please absolutely everyone and cause arguments with your partner in the process.

Decide how frequently you’re going to see family and friends

Emotions can run high over the holidays. You won’t feel like you’ve had time to catch your breath before you’re back in the car and on your way to visit more family members. It can all be too much and lead to arguments. Decide early on with your partner how long you are going to spend with family and friends. If you’re both going to see his sister, decide how long you’re going to stay at her place and stick to your plan. Again, compromise with each other about timeframes. If he suggests spending six hours at his sister’s place and you we’re thinking two hours would be more suitable, settle on four hours.

Don’t drink too much

Too much alcohol can dull your senses and make you say things that you wouldn’t normally say if you were sober. It is a season to enjoy yourself and let your hair down, but too much indulgence can have a high price. Drinking more than usual can lead to antagonism and pettiness. You’re probably already aware of your own drinking limits, so don’t stretch these just because it’s a holiday.


You’re not a superhero, so don’t convince yourself that you can take everything on over the holidays. You cannot cook, clean your home, buy presents, visit six family members and go to five parties even if you wanted to. You need ‘me’ time and you also need to make sure that your partner doesn’t feel neglected. Involve him in the seasonal tasks and not only are you making lighter work of your duties, but you also get to spend time with each other. If you’re too busy, you will feel stressed and you will argue. Relax and take time to sit down, watch television or read book. Those dishes can wait and you can see any family members you’ve missed out in the New Year.

The holiday season should be one of laughter and enjoyment. Don’t disturb the peace by starting arguments or being dragged into them. Remember the tips above and your holidays are bound to be pleasurable and relaxing.

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Abigail says: 2011 12 23

Practical wisdom to keep the season festive.  Thank you.

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