During the holidays, everyone wants to spend time with their families and loved ones, exchange presents, indulge in delicious foods, and simply enjoy each other’s company. However, the holiday season is also that time of the year when couples have arguments over the smallest things.
The things that should bring people together are the ones that spark many fights during the holidays. But there’s no need to worry, because trust me, even happy couples have disagreements during the holiday season. The good news is, these types of arguments don’t last, you’ll manage to put everything behind you and get back to being happy and fulfilled.
Read on to find 17 of the most common arguments even happy couples have during the holidays!
Where to spend the holidays
Deciding where to spend the holidays is not an easy task, especially because you’ll probably want to visit your parents, while your partner might want to visit theirs. If your families live in different areas of the United States, visiting both won’t be possible, therefore, you’ll have to decide and one has to compromise.
Couples are very familiar with this argument, as it happens every year. The best solution would be to come o an agreement. For instance, this year you’ll get to spend Christmas at your parent’s house, and the next year you’ll spend it with your partner’s family. This way, no one will be upset or hold grudges.
How much time to spend with your in-laws
Some people have a great relationship with their in-laws, while others do not so much. No matter how your relationship with your in-laws might be, if you care about your partner, you need to acknowledge the fact that their family is important to them and compromise for their sake.
As Texas-based marriage and family therapist associate Liz Higgins, LMFTA, shared on The Gottman Institute’s website, in order to get past the holiday ‘hustle’, you need to learn how to communicate with your significant other.
After all, if it’s important to your partner, it should be important to you, too. You should know that this is quite common, and every couple has problems in adjusting their feelings about each other’s families. Always consider that your partner might feel the same about your parents but still chooses to get along with them because they love you and want you to be happy.
What movies to watch
You have a tradition of always watching Home Alone on Christmas Eve, while your partner might want to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas. How to decide what to watch? Firstly, you need to acknowledge that fighting over what movie to watch is pretty silly. Secondly, you could easily solve this problem by hosting a movie marathon. This way, both of you will get to watch their favorite movie. Problem solved!
What time to eat on Thanksgiving
Every family has their own traditions, some call it ‘Thanksgiving dinner’ even though they like to eat closer to lunch time, while others prefer to enjoy the delicious food in the evening. If you and your partner were raised in families that had different Thanksgiving traditions, you might find yourself fighting with your significant other over what time to eat on Thanksgiving.
What to watch on Thanksgiving
Your partner might want to watch football games on Thanksgiving, which might annoy you. However, if you see that your partner is very excited about those games, don’t take away their happiness.
To host or not to host…?
While being the host can be fun, it’s also a huge responsibility, and a lot of cleaning, cooking, and welcoming your families has to be done. While some people might enjoy the responsibility of hosting, others would prefer to let others do it.
If your partner would prefer to be a guest at someone else’s house, while you would want to host the party, you might find yourself arguing the entire holiday. The good part about hosting is that even though it’s very exhausting, you get to spend time with your loved ones, so it’s definitely worth it.
When to decorate for Christmas
You might want to start decorating earlier because you’re so eager to see your entire house in the holiday spirit, while your partner wants to wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas decorations.
According to psychoanalyst Steve McKeown, people associate Christmas with childhood and happiness, and that’s why they’re so impatient to decorate the entire house. If you know that decorating for Christmas makes your partner happy, why not let them enjoy all of that a little earlier?
Who is allowed to drink and who’s the driver
A glass of wine or a little champagne goes perfectly with the holiday spirit. if you’re the one hosting the gathering, you can both drink if you don’t have to drive. But if you’re spending Thanksgiving or Christmas at someone else’s house, then one of you has to stay away from alcohol. Now how can you decide who’s allowed to drink and who should stay sober?
It’s understandable that each one of you would like to enjoy a delicious glass of wine with the rest of the family, but unfortunately, one has to compromise. If neither of you wants to give up your drink, you can always consider opting for a cab or an Uber. This way, both of you will have a good time.
Whether to discuss politics or not
Discussing politics at a family gathering might not be the best idea as it can cause a lot of disagreements, that’s why you might not want to bring up this topic. However, your partner might feel different and always bring up politics while having dinner.
As,” relationship and marriage counselor Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., explained on her website, topics like money, religion, and politics should be avoided at family gatherings, as they can contribute to a lot of arguments, and I guess you wouldn’t want to ruin the holiday spirit.
What presents to buy for family members and friends
Deciding what presents to buy for family members and friends can spark a lot of fights, especially if you and your partner are not on the same page. You could easily avoid this argument by splitting your shopping list in half, this way, both of you will have the chance to buy whatever present they want.
How much money to spend on gifts
As relationship therapist Elly Prior wrote on her website, “Managing your finances may even be more difficult in December, and differences in attitudes towards spending will be even more apparent.”
Couples need to learn how to handle these monetary differences because according to a study published in the journal Family Relations, money problems often lead to breakups and divorces.
How many presents to offer to your kids
Spouses usually argue about how much they should spoil their kids for Christmas and how many presents they should give them. According to an article in HuffPost titled ‘Why I’m Buying My Children A Lot of Presents,’ fighting over presents it’s very common during the holiday season.
According to Lyz Lenz, Christmas should be seen as a time of ‘yes’. “I spend all year teaching restraint. I spend all year telling her that new toys just don’t happen on a Tuesday. … But on Christmas, I get to say ‘yes.’ I get to take her tiny dreams of pink ponies and princesses and I can make them appear.”
While some people agree with Lenz, others completely disagree with the idea of spoiling their kids, even during Christmas. If you and your spouse have this issue every year, try to find some common ground that works for both.
When to open the presents
You might be willing to let your kid open their presents on Christmas Eve, while your spouse might want to follow the tradition and open them the next day. Most parents have this argument during Christmas, and of course, your children will be very curious and beg you to let them open the gifts, but you also need to consider your spouse’s feelings. Therefore, you can meet in the middle and allow them to open one present on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Dec. 25.
When to tell your kids the truth about Santa
We’ve all been there as kids, so we know how disappointing it is when you find out that Santa isn’t real. Maybe you would want to let your kids believe a little more in Santa, while your spouse might consider they’re at an age where they should know the truth. What can be done in this case?
You need to have an open conversation and express your opinion without ruining everyone’s Christmas. If you can’t convince your spouse not to tell kids that Santa doesn’t exist, at least make sure they do it in a gentle way, so they don’t hurt their feelings.
Splitting cleaning duties
Christmas should be about spending time with your loved ones and a lot of relaxation. However, Christmas preparations are not that fun, and couples often argue about splitting cleaning duties. We all know that there are a lot of things that need to be done for Christmas, such as cleaning, decorating the house, and of course, cooking.
But unfortunately, the cleaning process doesn’t end when Christmas does. Who’s going to clean up all the wrapping paper left on the floor, who’s going to throw out the tree and sweep up those pine needles? Also, after Christmas is over, you need to put back to storage all the Christmas decorations.
These things can cause a lot of fights in a couple, especially considering that everyone is tired after Christmas and no one wishes to do chores. The best solution would be splitting the chores, this way you’ll avoid unnecessary conflict and finish cleaning faster.
Where to spend New Year’s Eve
Deciding where to spend New Year’s Eve can be very tricky. If you’re more of an introvert, you might want to keep things casual of spending New Year’s Eve at home, while a more extroverted person would probably want to go out and party.
Therefore, if you and your partner have different personalities and they’re less social than you, try to find common ground and consider their needs. According to psychiatrist David Sack, MD, these differences can become harder to handle over time, especially if one partner feels like they have to give up a lot for their significant other.
Which holiday to celebrate
As Maryland-based clinical psychologist Samantha Rodman explained on the blog for online therapy company Talkspace, “In dual-religion or dual-ethnicity couples that celebrate more than one holiday, it can be a struggle to figure out which holiday should take precedent in the case of overlap.”
If your holiday celebrations overlap with your partners, you need to reach a compromise or try to celebrate both holidays so that no one gets upset.
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