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Are you ready for Christmas?

By Santa Claus

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“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~ Dr Seuss

Reindeer jumpers, the smell of roast potatoes, twinkling lights, snoozes on the couch, late nights ….. Last minute shopping ….. Spent too much money ….. Missed family dinner …. Fell out with dad ……………………

….. Slept on a friends couch ……….. Haven’t been home since.

Family conflict – arguments, disagreement don’t go away at Christmas. In fact often they are heightened and things can easily spiral out of control.

So are you ready for Christmas? How will you tackle family arguments this festive season? Here are my tips to help you and your family #StopTalkListen

Stop

Hit pause. What’s important to you AND your family? This might help with decisions about how to spend your time and avoid arguments over The Queen’s Speech vs The Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Reflect. Life isn’t perfect, so why should Christmas be? Family life, whatever that means for you goes on and you can only do your best – appreciate the effort from each other.

Take a break! We spend an unusual amount of time with our family over Christmas. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed, sad or even lonely. Give yourself space, go for a walk, get some fresh air, read a book, watch a movie, nap with the dog.

Talk

Families change; new partners, children leave … and come back, parents re marry, new babies are born and older generations are no longer with us. If something is bugging you talk about it before it reaches melting point and avoid that death stare contest over Christmas dinner.

Humour can melt any frozen heart and a good old cracker joke is sometimes the answer. If you can see the funny side sometimes this can help, the world will keep on turning, the snow will continue to fall and Christmas will come around again next year.

Listen

In the hustle and bustle communication can get in a tangle. Take the time to listen with the intention of trying to understand the other person’s point of view. There is always time for a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit to hear someone’s worries.

It’s a team effort to tackle Christmas!

I couldn’t do it without my cheeky elves and trusted reindeer! Celebrating as a family (whatever this looks like) means talking to each other, planning together AND doing the washing up together!

And finally, not everyone will be spending Christmas with family or friends, many won’t get a present and many are trying to escape from conflict; on a family or global level. Christmas is one day of the year …. How do you want to spend it?

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Santa Claus lives in the North Pole with his wife, 8 reindeer (9 if you include Rudolph) and countless unruly elves. Over the years, he’s worked night shift every Christmas Eve, working hard to deliver Christmas presents to all the (well behaved) children of the world. He knows that Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but also that it can be a bit stressful. So he proudly presents his top tips for surviving the festive season!

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