Expect to deal with some tension at Christmas. If you've planned a calm response to use when things come unstuck, it will help to take the heat out of the situation.
Your attitude can make a difference to how much people around you enjoy their Christmas. Try these: a generous, co-operative mood; calming yourself down if you feel irritated; opting for the appreciative comment over the critical one.
Remember that everyone is different. You don't have to agree about everything to have a good time. You could discuss your differences amiably or you could just acknowledge that you have different ideas and ask a question about something else.
If it's important to have a difficult conversation, pick your time. Do it when both of you are fresh, relaxed and sober. Don't involve children and bystanders.
There can be a lot of work behind a Christmas celebration. Take some pressure off by sharing the work and expenses around. Ask for help. People enjoy contributing, it makes them feel they belong.
Sometimes people feel sad at Christmas. Maybe you're missing people who aren't there. Maybe you feel a bit lonely or disappointed at where you are in your life at the moment. Talking about it might help. Try your GP, or you can call Lifeline on 0800 111 777 or Youthline on 0800 376 633.
There is a colourful poster covering these tips. Download it here and print it off for your noticeboard or fridge.
To Have a Merry Christmas(251 kb PDF file)