No matter how much we try to emulate the perfect TV family at this time of year, very few of us manage to make it through the festive season without hearing a raised voice, a disgruntled mumble or a full-on barney between family members.
Whether it’s the proximity you must endure to relatives you don’t see from one end of the year to the next, the itchy fabric of your festive jumper or the fact the central heating is a couple of degrees too high, Christmas can unfortunately be rife with rows, rumbles and recriminations.
Here are just ten reasons rows tend to take place when everyone eventually sits down to that all-important festive feast.
1. Someone gets the ‘wonky’ chair
Let’s face it, very few of us have an entire set of extra kitchen chairs we keep aside for December 25th.
As a result of this oversight on our part, Aunt Margaret is generally forced to spoon up her stuffing while balancing precariously on the bathroom stool while Uncle Martin is lucky to reach the sprouts from his position on the garden’s sun lounger.
“Don’t mind me, these plastic slats are actually more comfortable than they look.”
2. Someone didn’t help
There’s a few people in every family who, for some reason, think they’re exempt form kitchen duty on Christmas day.
Whether they plead incompetence or simply can’t be bothered, those who choose not to participate in the prep are often subject to intense scrutiny as the designated cooks dish out the sides.
“Are the roasties up to your exacting standards….ya lazy so-and-so.”
3. Someone forgot an all-important ingredient
Whether it's the stuffing, the cranberry sauce or the sprouts, everyone knows Christmas dinner comes to a halt unless every single dish is present at the table.
So what if everyone hates sprouts, it’s not Christmas without them!
“Thanks for ruining the dinner with that useless scatter brain of yours, Mum.”
4. Someone gets political
Before anyone so much as raises a piece of turkey to their lips, you’re guaranteed a particular family member will decide to wax lyrical about the latest election ensuring everyone present is left squirming in their seats.
No matter how much the rest of the family tries to change the subject, Uncle Philip will share his controversial views before getting in a huff that no one agrees.
“Philip, now is not the time nor the place.”
5. Someone’s toy will get taken off them
While certain rules were made and agreed upon prior to the family feast, you can always be sure a wily disobedient member will choose to break them.
The guidelines which were set regarding toys, book and video games at the dinner are instantly flouted requiring swift intervention.
“Santa Claus rang and said if you don’t stop honking that damn trumpet in Nana’s face, he’ll come back down the chimney tonight and take it back.”
6. Someone is chewing too loudly
While they may not be able to help it, that doesn’t mean it won’t raise the heckles of all present company.
Teeth get gritted, hands get balled into fists and private promises are made to spend next Christmas, alone under a duvet, away from family members who can’t even chew without alerting the neighbours.
“Simon, is it really necessary that you chew like…. Oh forget it, never mind.”
7. Someone will accidentally offend someone else
Most families have a highly-strung member who takes themselves far too seriously while being incapable of recognising a joke.
As a result, the most jovial member of the family will likely insult the most precious meaning everyone is left sweating as the two hash out what is and isn’t appropriate Chrismtas ‘banter’.
“Can’t we all just get along? No? Fine, fine, I’ll stay out of it.”
8. Someone is left without a paper crown
When an unexpected guest arrives, we do what all mums do best and lavish attention on our surprise visitor ensuring they are given the best of everything despite their lack of invitation.
Unsurprisingly, this often means an original guest is left without a paper crown and is forced to watch in disgust as their crown is placed neatly on the head of the surprise visitor who didn’t even bring so much as a selection box.
“Well, I know where I stand in the family’s pecking order now, don’t I?”
9. Someone refuses to turn off the TV
While we all know Christmas television is as important a part of the festive tradition as anything else, that doesn’t mean it has to be on 24/7.
Unfortunately for avid soap fans, however, that can cause an issue as they’re forced to endure a whole two-hour meal without the witty repartee of their favourite soap villain.
“If you reach for that remote one more time, your dinner is going in the bin.”
10. Someone brings up the dodgy present issue
It happens every year; one family member makes the mistake of ignoring the Christmas wish list meaning their chosen recipient is left clutching a pack of ironing board covers when all they wanted was a set of bath bombs.
While we all know the matter should be swept swiftly under the carpet, one family member who has had one glass too many will choose to raise the topic under the mistaken assumption enough time has passed.
“I mean honestly, a weightloss book? I’ve never been so hurt in my entire life.”