10 Top Tips On How To Survive ChristmasThat time of year is fast approaching and it can be a time when a lot of emotion is going on and people are wondering how to survive Christmas.

Sometimes, we get to spend a lot of time with people that we really don’t see very much of, and often in an enclosed space – with what feels like little or no escape!!

I read somewhere that someone was saying that at Christmas/holiday time, free will doesn’t exist.

Now, I’m not sure that that is 100% true but I see where they are coming from!  It is definitely time for a lot of compromise!

So, what to do if you want to know how to survive Christmas with family, alone, in-laws etc.  Here are my top tips:

  1. Presents – it’s the thought that counts:

We probably all have an opinion on presents that we receive from certain people.

I spent more than so and so or I put a lot of thought into their present and I still got the same (for example) lavender talcum powder thrown at me.

They always give me cheap presents, so I’ll give cheapo presents back.

The thing about this is that, for me, giving in this way does not feel good.

And so, they haven’t spent as much on you as you have on them, or maybe you think that they haven’t put much thought into it, but if you start doing the same with what you think is going on, then you are stepping into a not so good energy.

Also, you don’t know what was going on in their heads.  You’ve made all sorts of assumptions.

But stepping into what you think is their unkind, uncaring motive, just doesn’t feel good or nice.  To me it feels a bit mean and I certainly, I don’t like feeling like that.

Give in the way you like to give, and that makes you feel good.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others

Facebook does have a lot to answer for.  Sometimes we see these pictures of people with their perfect families, smiling faces, everyone being so happy to be there with everyone else.

Why isn’t my Christmas (life?) like that?

Remember, whoever posted these photos, selected these images for a particular point in time where everyone looked their best (I’m guilty of this having recently discovered that I have a ‘good’ side for photos), double chin not too visible, spare tyre well out of sight, and maybe it was just before they started chucking the bread rolls at each other.

Who knows?  But chances are, everyone’s entire day probably wasn’t perfect and there probably was a bit/lot of snittiness here and there.


  1. Just because you or your family had one way of doing things doesn’t mean it’s the right way:

This is more for people who are wondering how to survive Christmas with in laws, especially if it is for the first time.

Speaking from my own experience, growing up, our own Christmas was busy with people coming and going, a fairly late dinner, not everything going to plan.  Also, opening presents was a smash and grab affair first thing in the morning, with the proceedings over pretty quickly.  Woo hoo!

Imagine how weird it was to be somewhere where the presents weren’t open until after dinner (complete and utter torment as far as I was concerned!) although dinner was also eaten a lot earlier than I was used to.  I couldn’t understand it.

Now with a bit of perspective I can see that the anticipation of waiting can be pleasurable in itself, and that maybe spreading present opening throughout the day isn’t the worst idea (although I still want to open something first thing…. it is Christmas morning after all!).

And also, cooking the stuffing like meatballs outside of the turkey is an excellent idea!  I’d have never have thought of that.

So, be prepared to be a bit flexible in terms of what you do and how you do it.

  1. Be specific about what you want people to do & say it:

Again, hands up on my part.

When I ask for something to be put away or tidied up, I mean now or at least before I arrive back from doing whatever I had been out doing and have been working REALLY HARD.

I’m assuming of course that you know exactly what I mean and know exactly what I’m thinking (isn’t it obvious??).

No, it’s not obvious!!

So if you want something done and you have a particular way you’d like it to be done and by a certain time, don’t keep it all to yourself.  Not everyone is a mind-reader.

Asking someone to clean the kitchen might be a bit vague – I know what I mean, but do they?  Be specific.

In return, if someone asks you to do something, maybe ask them exactly what they mean.  Could save a lot of heartache.

  1. If you’re a giver, make sure that you don’t give too much.

What I mean by this is that if you are naturally inclined to give a lot to people in terms of time, effort support etc, make sure that you don’t go into overdrive during the holiday period.

Take some time to ask yourself does this giving still feel ok or do you need to step back a bit.

Also, make sure to give back to yourself.  One of the key things is not to overstretch yourself if you want to know how to survive Christmas.

And following on from this…

  1. Say yes to yourself:

Chances are, over the holiday season, you will be saying yes to certain things/events, that you don’t necessarily want to do.  That’s fine and dandy, but make sure that you are saying yes to yourself as often as you say yes to others.

It’s really important so that you are filling up your own batteries, giving yourself enough time to re-charge, and making sure that you don’t finish the holidays feeling completely depleted and worn out.

Remember that old phrase that sometimes saying no to others is saying yes to yourself.

  1. Beware of slipping back into old patterns of behaviour:

I think especially when we go back to spending time with family or other school/friend groups, we may slip into roles that we have been working hard to get out of (but so and so always does the gravy, doesn’t mind doing the washing up, doesn’t mind us making fun of them etc….).  Maybe you never wanted to do the gravy, wanted to do the drying up instead, don’t like the way they make fun of you.

If you are going to be going against the ‘normal’ tradition of you making the gravy etc, maybe flag this in advance and let people know that you’d like to do things differently, whatever that means.

That way you may have a bit more control over what happens.  At the very least, you will have planted a seed for doing things differently.

  1. Buy yourself a nice present:

So, maybe you’re spending Christmas on your own for whatever reason and are wondering how to survive Christmas alone.  Even if you’re not, we go to a lot of bother buying presents for everyone else, why not give ourselves a present?  I nicked this idea from this blog: How To Survive Christmas By Yourself

No doubt you have worked hard all year so why not give yourself a pat on the back, and give yourself a reward for just being you.  You could even get the shop to wrap it, so you have something to open on the day.

You’re so worth it!

  1. Yay! It’s time for duvet day

Yep, and I don’t know why I only do this one day a year, but have yourself a duvet day.

This is a day where you plod around the house in your jammies or whatever, having chocolate or plum pudding for breakfast, watching ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, reading a book.

Or maybe you take off for a long walk in the country.  Whatever floats your boat.  The point is, this day is all about you and what you want to do.  Just go do it!

  1. Have Yourselves A Good Break

Above all, I hope you have a good break and a rest from what you do for the rest of the year.  It’s essential that you take a break, as the world needs you!

And if it all is getting a bit much, there’s still a few days left for to to contact me for a quick chat:Contact Grainne

Or you are thinking that for next year you would like it to be different and don’t know how, get in touch and contact Grainne – how to survive Christmas .

Do you have any top tips on how to survive Christmas?  Would love to know!

Happy holidays!


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