Finally, the presents are bought, wrapped and put away in a safe dark corner and it is time to enjoy Christmas with your family. Although it is not a crime to spend the New Year with friends, British Christmas is definitely a family celebration.
As, quite often, grown-up children live a long way (or what seems a long way) from their parents, some families only get together once a year, for Christmas. But even if all the family lives close by, it is a must to spend Christmas together. Normally this means three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
It seems like a short time but in reality it is not. Firstly, not all families get on well together. Secondly, even if it is not the case, it is difficult to stay calm and friendly amongst shouting parents trying to decide who knows better how to make Christmas dinner, screaming kids and grandparents perpetually giving invaluable pieces of advice.
Besides, being such an old tradition, there are things that just have to be done at Christmas even if the whole family secretly hates it. For example, playing traditional board games, and eating Christmas cake. And if you do not see anything wrong with playing games, just imagine if you HAD to do sound like a jolly prospect now.
As for Christmas cake, heavy and overfilling it is not to everybodys taste. To make things worse, it takes last until Easter, so even if you do not like it you have to try and eat some at Christmas to avoid being haunted by it months after.
Naturally, all this creates some tension. According to statistics, the number of family breakdowns doubles in the post-Christmas period as a result of stress, debt and over-consumption; some magazines publish tips on how to cope with Christmas, such as yoga, meditation or holidays abroad.