Six family arguments you'll definitely have this Christmas

·5-min read
Angry roommates or sisters in christmas sitting on a couch in the living room at home
"I know we're twins, but I've never liked you." (Getty Images)

Christmas is coming - a time for gifts, spiritual joy and enormous screaming meltdowns.

Rare is the family that spends the festive season coddled in peaceful togetherness. Far more common are the ones that begin with merry intentions and goodwill to all men, and are yelling abuse by Boxing Day lunchtime.

Now, greetings card company thortful.com have looked into the chief causes of festive arguments - the ones that are so well-worn, they probably began with a Wise Man shouting: "Wait, no, I was going to bring the Myrrh!"

According to the survey, half of Brits admit they argue with friends and family over the festive period. It turns out spending time with in-laws is the number one cause of fights, with 'what to watch on Christmas day' in second place. Here's what you'll almost certainly argue about this Christmas - but do feel free to add your own.

Happy senior couple and their adult children toasting with wine on Christmas at home.
"These smiles are only for the photo you know." (Getty Images)

The top six topics Brits argue about at Christmas:

1 Spending time with the in-laws (23%)

Almost a quarter of us are bitterly resentful about having to drive "halfway across the country" (Copyright, every Dad ever) to visit our partner's parents and relations. They don't do Christmas properly, they open presents at the wrong time, and their gravy always tastes of dust.

Nobody really wants to spend Christmas with their in-laws. They either want to stay home, or visit their own family.

2 What to watch on Christmas day (23%)

Equally stressful is agreeing on what to watch. It's as though the 'record' button has never been invented, with families warring over cartoons v car chases and The Queen v James Bond.

That's probably why so many teens end up sloping off to Snapchat their mates while the adults slump in front of the compromise-candidate Vicar of Dibley repeat, wishing they'd just held out for Quantum of Solace.

kids watching tv at home in the Christmas night
"This isn't Fast and Furious Six, don't lie." (Getty Images)

3 Watching TV on Christmas day (22%)

A stern fifth of Brits don't want the TV on at all on Christmas day. Anyone caught sneaking a glance at the Call the Midwife Christmas special, or Wallace and Gromit, is 'wasting precious family time' that could be spent helping to load the dishwasher, or playing Balderdash.

This argument tends to happen more when Christmas customs clash, and one set of in-laws wants a rousing bout of Charades while the other would rather watch Festive Gogglebox with a triple Baileys. We won't say whose side we'd be on...

4 Board games (20%)

A cute seven-year-old child boy playing games at home at a white wooden table against the background of a light window. Selective focus. Close-up
You don't mess around with Jim. Certainly not when he's playing Jenga. (Getty Images)

Read more: Is Die Hard A Christmas Film? We Settle The Yearly Debate Once And For All

An entire fifth of the nation falls out over board games. They're supposed to be fun, but confronted with a drunken uncle buying up Mayfair, or a cheating granny whispering what her Pictionary scrawl is meant to be, all hell may break loose.

Fairness is ingrained in the British character, and anyone who fails to play by the rules is bound to start an argument. Particularly when it's about what the rules actually are.

Many have spend Christmas evening shouting "You can't send me back to the start, I already rolled a six!".

They're more a test of character than a fun activity, frankly.

Watch: Key phrases for better communication

5 Christmas dinner or lunch (20%)

Another fifth of us fall out over Christmas meal timings. Are we eating at one in time for The Queen, or at six to give us time to do the sprouts? Who's doing the cooking? No, there isn't room for Sandra to just 'pop into the kitchen and heat up her vegan option.'

There's an endless supply of potential rows here - lack of help from teens. The turkey not defrosting because someone forgot to get it out in time. The shop-bought pudding. The relatives you've always hated.

Take a seat, pull a cracker, and buckle up.

Quarrel of mother and daughter at the Christmas table
"I only said the potatoes were like bullets, I've no idea why you're so upset." (Getty Images)

6 Being drunk on Christmas day (20%)

As Slade yelled, It's Christmassssssss! And if you can't sink a pint or two, along with a bottle of Cava, two snowballs and a cherry brandy, when can you? Some, however, are not so keen on family members falling into a booze coma before the turkey's basted.

Equally, loud inappropriate jokes, snoring through the present opening, and failing to help because you're incapacitated are also not welcomed.

Other festive fights include when to open presents (18%), decorating the Christmas tree (18%) who's in charge of cleaning on Christmas day (18%) and what time to wake up on Christmas morning (17%)

Read more: The number one way to prevent family arguments before your holiday has been revealed

When asked about how much couples, friends and families argue over the Christmas period, over one in six (16%) said they do 'often', whilst over two thirds admitted they argue with their close ones 'sometimes'.

The most regular bickerers are people over 65 - though let's face it they've had years of putting up with the family's festive nonsense.

The main thing, of course, is not to let your argument ruin Christmas. Never discuss politics, religion or somebody else's parenting style - and don't forget, in most families, there's very little a hug and a mince pie can't sort out.

Watch: Queen Elizabeth's family Christmas plans are still on

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