How to avoid spending Christmas with the family is one of the trickiest topic ever.

Christmas is meant to be a time for family, fun and reflection but it’s increasingly becoming a time of upset, stress and arguments.

So, I’ve come up with some ideas that may help you.

But to caveat.

Christmas is an extremely delicate topic, so please make sure you give it serious thought before making any grand announcements.

Think how your actions are going to make someone else feel.

Always try to be as kind and as compassionate as you can be when making a decision that is going to affect someone else’s Christmas.

Sometimes it’s better just to suck it up for 24 / 48 hours and do your duty.

But if you really can’t face it, read on……………………

Option 1: Plan Ahead

A bit late to use now but remember for next year.

If the thought of spending Christmas with your family fills you with dread, announce early on in the year that you will be doing something different this Christmas.

The trick is, the further away from Christmas you announce your intentions, the less likely it is to  cause a fuss (too far away to seem real) plus it gives your family time to digest (and accept) you won’t be with them.

Option 2: Go Away

If you can afford it go away.

Book a holiday and spend Christmas soaking up the sun and getting some well-deserved R&R.

Double delight.

Option 3: Volunteer

Lots n lots of Charities need helping hands at Christmas plus it’s a perfect opportunity to give back to your community.

Volunteer your services on Christmas Day.

Perhaps it something the whole family can do together?

Option 4: Alternate

A firm favourite with many families already is to alternate who you spend Christmas with to be “fair” to everyone.

Can you expand on the family circle so you only spend say one in three Christmases with the people you dread?

Option 5: Cook

This is a good tactic.

Offer to do the cooking (and the cleaning up if you really want to avoid people) giving you the perfect excuse to have minimal contact with anyone for most of the day.

Plus giving you brownie points for taking the strain off everyone else.

Option 6: Go out to Eat

If you are sick of everyone decamping on your door step for Christmas make the announcement (again as early as you can) that you are going out to eat this Christmas.

They are welcome to join you (or not).

Option 7: Make plans for later

See your family Christmas morning but make other plans for the afternoon. Christmas party at your neighbours or something….

Option 8: Throw a party

Dilute the effects of certain family members by throwing a Christmas Drinks Party.

You will have fun and celebrate with friends, neighbours and family who you want to celebrate with whilst having minimal contact with those people you don’t want to spend time with.

Option 9: Coach yourself

If you have no choice but to spend Christmas with the family, then make it more bearable by Coaching yourself before.

Predict the normal Christmas scenarios that irritate you and have a plan of action up your sleeve.

For example:

  1. If my mother in law mentions the turkey is cold I will say this “xxxxx”
  2. I will only have 2 glasses of wine so I don’t become argumentative with my sister
  3. If nobody offers to help tidy up I will say this “xxxxxxxxx”
  4. I will go for a walk after dinner to have some time without my family
  5. I won’t sit next to Auntie Florence who bores me to death
  6. I will take my computer with me so I can watch what I want to watch after dinner.

Option 10: Be Honest

You are an adult. If you don’t wish to spend Christmas a certain way then don’t.

If you want to spend Christmas with just with your husband and kids but with nobody else then explain this.

If done with tact and love, it won’t upset the family.

But as I said in the introduction, be careful how you approach this.

How will this affect your family’s Christmas? Is their potential upset warranted or unreasonable? Can you have an alternative “Secret Christmas” with the people you want on the 27th December?

Good Luck



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