Avoid Christ­mas Con­flict?

Pick Me Up! - - YOUR DILEMMAS -

Claire, 59, Portsmouth

My three chil­dren are grown up and have their own part­ners and fam­i­lies. Christ­mas has al­ways been such a spe­cial time for me and their dad, to have them all back and spoil them.

But this year’s been dif­fi­cult. My son and daugh­ter have fallen out so badly they haven’t spo­ken for the past six months.

They’ve all agreed to come for Christ­mas, along with my third child and told me it will be fine. But I’m dreading it. I know what they can be like, plus with a few drinks dur­ing the day, I’m scared things could get un­pleas­ant.

Should I tell them how I’m feel­ing and ask them to stag­ger their vis­its?

YES

Pick Me Up! reader Deb­bie Had­den says, ’Ask them to re­solve their prob­lems in ad­vance, or you don’t want them all to­gether. Christ­mas is a spe­cial time for fam­i­lies, not for ar­gu­ing. When they re­alise the pres­sure this is putting on you, it may make them think twice about their ac­tions.

If noth­ing else, it will give you a one-to-one with each fam­ily mem­ber, so you can en­joy qual­ity time with­out issues.’

NO

Pick Me Up! reader Ni­cola Green says,

‘If the fall­out was really bad, tell them how wor­ried you are, as you don’t want any ill-feel­ing at Christ­mas, or be­yond. Sug­gest they have a meet­ing now to thrash out any ten­sion that’s on­go­ing.

Christ­mas is a spe­cial time of year. Don’t can­cel it – but if trou­ble does start, send them home. This might make them re­alise just how im­por­tant fam­ily is.’

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