‘Tis the season to be jolly….”
While Christmas, for many, can be an exciting time, it can also be a big cause of stress for others. But how can you maintain the season of goodwill and festive cheer when quite often, as relatives come together to celebrate, disputes can arise? Recent statistics have shown that family arguments and tensions boiling over during the festive period, have resulted in thousands of people being disinherited by relatives. Statistics have also shown that a number of solicitors’ firms received almost three times the number of will enquiries, relating to amendments and also included the cutting out of siblings, offspring and spouses, between late December and early January compared to the rest of the year.
Don’t let your Christmas be a frosty one. Solicitors, H Mc Partland & Sons, share their top tips for avoiding a festive fall-out this Christmas.
- Careful planning
By making a table plan you can control and diffuse any unpleasant situation before it arises. If you know that two of your guests have clashed in the past, then you can separate them in advance. Perhaps, place them on the same side of the table with one person between them so they can’t see each other.
- Be on your guest behaviour
If you are celebrating a Christmas in a way that you are not used to, perhaps at a friend’s or partner’s house for the first time, you may have to respect the fact you may be faced with different traditions and values. Try and find out what will be expected of you on the day and what you will be doing differently so you will be fully prepared for all eventualities.
- Control your emotions
Remaining in control of your emotions is key to survival at Christmas time. Disagreeing with a family member is especially difficult because they’re family. If you can bite your tongue and remember that Christmas isn’t about conflict – it is about you all being together and sharing what you have. Conversations shouldn’t be about who’s right and who’s wrong, as this will lead to arguments. Steer the conversation away from delicate topics and keep your cool. You have the rest of the year to deal with family dramas.
- Set your boundaries
Agree with a family member that certain topics aren’t to be discussed. If you can get someone on your side before the family occasion to help you avoid prickly topics, it will make you feel less isolated and perhaps more relaxed. If a topic comes up that you’re uncomfortable with, ask politely to change it.
- Alcohol awareness
For many of us, on Christmas Day, breakfast is served with a small tipple. However, if you continue to drink from then onwards you are likely to be tired, irritable and to have said something you deeply regret by evening. An idea would be to set some ground rules, such as only serving alcohol when dinner is served and not sitting down to eat until later in the afternoon.
- Accept all help
If you are hosting Christmas dinner and your guests want to help out, then let them. Don’t be a martyr. This might even take the pressure off you trying to do a hundred and one jobs singlehandedly.
- Don’t pass judgement
If you receive an unwanted gift or you feel someone hasn’t made the same effort, don’t show your disappointment. Try not to pass judgement on your presents and don’t pass judgement on the presents of others. It’s not worth getting upset about, you can pretend just for one day.
While Christmas can be an exciting time, it can also be a big cause of stress for many. We all hope to spend Christmas having fun with friends and family, but for many people it can be a time of stress and tension and family arguments. Put your mind at ease knowing your will and your future wishes are taken care of.
Solicitors, H McPartland and Sons, know the importance of making a will and will ensure that it is written so that your estate, no matter how large or small, is divided as per your wishes. Making a will is one of the most important things that you can do as you could save your family money in the future and it can secure their future. We, at H McPartland & Sons, can help you write a will that will ensure your estate, no matter how large or small, is divided as per your wishes.
Contact H McPartland & Sons today in Lurgan or Lisburn to have a chat with a member of our experienced and professional team about all your will needs.