How to navigate relationships during the holiday season (without the stress)

holiday stress relationship counselling relationships stress May 20, 2023

The ongoing negotiation of who is going to who’s place for Christmas, when & where should we catch up?

Are we giving presents or not?

Can we fit in visiting 1001 relatives?

Do we have the perfect presents for everyone?

Did I remember to buy my husband/wife a present?

It is very easy for tension between yourself & your partner, and family to rise sky high.

The pressure is real.

The stress is enormous.

But does it have to be this way?

Christmas is meant to be a relaxing time, seeing family and friends and watching the kids light up like Christmas trees when they open their presents. 

But often, it can result in disagreements, arguments and mounting tension.

How do we fix this?

Here are my top 5 hacks (& a few bonus ones) for making Christmas and the holidays less stressful on your relationships:

  1. Get rid of assumptions this holiday! 

Communicate (with love!) your exact plans and intentions. It goes with present buying, travel plans and so forth. 

Be very clear and communicate all of the details upfront in advance. This saves hassle and people getting upset and disappointed on Christmas day or when you visit.

  1. Eliminate. What could you eliminate or make easier on yourself? This will be different for everyone. 

Is it buying presents now online so you are sorted? Is it saying no to the number 10 Christmas party you are invited to? Is it creating more time/space, so you are not rushing around as much? 

  1. Give yourself permission. Permit yourself to rest, to take an extra five minutes of quiet in your room. You cannot be 100% switched on 24/7, even as the hostess. It is your holiday too. 
  1. Holiday Meeting. 

Sit down with your partner. Go through the calendar so you are both on the same page. 

Discuss present expectations with family & each other, and talk about how you would like the holidays to feel and go. 

Then look at the practicalities of making this happen. Decide who is buying what gifts, who is cooking, and who is putting up the tree. 

When you are clear, fewer disagreements are likely to happen. 

  1. Navigate Tricky Conversations with Ease.

The holidays are often a time when hard conversations pop up & we need to be able to navigate them calmly & with love. 

To help you with this…

Download my FREE Christmas gift to you- How to Discuss Sensitive Issues With Your Partner https://www.laurapresscounselling.com.au/how-to-discuss-sensitive-issues-with-your-partner

  1. Breathe & Steal Moments.

Remember, the whole intention is to spend time with loved ones, enjoy their company and have fun. Keep bringing yourself back to this intent and course correct if needed. 

Steal moments of quiet, fun, laughter or connection with your partner. These moments add up and help you maintain connected through visitors, stress and everyone pulling on your time & attention.

Bonus tips– do not sweat the small stuff; it is easy to get frustrated when things get stressful; if it is not worth your time, let it go. Deep breathe and remind yourself of what is important. 

This second bonus tip may be the most important; you are lucky if you have family, friends and a partner to navigate the holidays with. Many people wish they had all of that to navigate; people are struggling, grieving and feeling lonely this time of year. 

Be grateful for all you have and reach out to someone in need. I promise this will be your best Christmas gift if you improve someone else’s Christmas.

I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing & stress free holiday.


Connect with me & find more free relationship tips at:





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*Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional mental health advice. 

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