Christmas dinner’s finished, the family is comfortably full of festive food and drink, and now comes the age-old question – what do we watch on TV? Grandma wants the Queen’s speech, your niece wants the Dr Who Christmas special, and the kids are clamouring to watch The Snowman. Again.
Yes, deciding what to watch on television tops the nation’s list of argument starters over Christmas (for 57% of Brits). When it comes to festive flashpoints, the touchy subject of deciding who has control of the remote topped the poll ahead of debating with your partner where to spend Christmas (39%) and dealing with relatives who cheat at board games (39%). Having the big day ruined by family members being rude to each other (34%) or arguing over the chore of washing up afterwards (33%) are also among the top five Christmas catalysts.
But who are the main perpetrators, the ones we most dislike spending Christmas with? Unsurprisingly, the mother-in-law is disliked by almost one in six Brits (16%), whether because she can’t stand how you made the gravy, or feel you’re not treating the apple of her eye properly. Not far behind are our annoying cousins (14%) and our aunts and uncles (13% and 12% respectively).
According to the research by Campanile Hotels, men don’t really care where they spend Christmas Day. One in three say they’ll spend it based on where their partner decides (32%), compared to one in ten women (11%).
And when it comes to getting kids home for Christmas, parents be warned – the food is most important to the youth of today. One in eight 16 to 24-year-olds choose the Christmas venue based on who’s willing to cook (13%), almost twice as many as those twice their age.
Joining us now to explain the intricacies of Christmas family politics along with some top advice on how to survive the festive flashpoints is behavioural psychologist Mo Shapiro.