24th December 2012

Forget peace and goodwill to all men, as the average British family will have at least five arguments on Christmas Day with the first heated row taking place at 10.13am according to a new survey by Travelodge.

The hotel chain surveyed 2,000 British households to investigate how modern Britain celebrates Christmas Day. Key findings revealed that even before the turkey, the Queen’s speech and a heated game of charades the typical British family worryingly have their first argument as early as 10.13am.

The argument is fuelled by restless guests and family members being crammed together under one roof and fretting about the day’s activities. Arguments will stem with senior family members trying to take charge of the day’s itinerary causing ripples amongst the host and other members of the household.

The next festive family tiff will take place around 12.42pm when children who moan about receiving the wrong presents will feel the wrath of stressed out parents.

Between 1.00pm to 3.00pm Mum and Dad will be at loggerheads due to Dad being ‘merry’ before dinner and Mum stressing over dinner preparations – especially whether the turkey is under or over cooked.

The traditional Christmas lunch will be served at 2.23pm across British households, however the touching scene of the family togetherness will be ruined around 3.24pm by an outbreak of hostilities between relatives around the dining table. They will be squabbling about illnesses, ‘who is the better person’, family gossip and resurrecting old family arguments.

Over indulgence in food and drink leads to a house full of varying blood sugar levels. This gluttony results in an evening of bickering and rowing - especially around 6.05pm, when the fight will begin for ownership of the remote control. This will be followed by an outburst at 7.25pm by senior family members trying to play charades.

At 10.15pm after the liqueurs have been drunk and the last mince pie has been eaten, tempers will flare up just before bedtime when the pressures of the day culminate and the cost involved in delivering the perfect Christmas hit home. The day ends with frustrations being taken out on loved ones.

Corinne Sweet, Relationship Psychologist said: “It’s not only the turkey that gets overheated at Christmas, family flare-ups are inevitable, especially as people who seldom see each other are suddenly thrown together for the whole day.

“To avoid festive flare ups in your house this year my advice is to look out for triggers that might set off or cause arguments and avoid them at all costs. And, if an argument does break out, make the people involved aware of how it affects the rest of the family. The most important thing on Christmas Day is to try and relax and have fun, make your expectations realistic and try to appreciate the time spent together with your family.”

Listed below is a schedule on how a typical British family will spend Christmas Day this year:

08:00 Wake-up

09:00 Have breakfast

10:00 Start attacking the selection boxes and chocolate tins

10.13 First family argument

12:00 Raid the drinks cabinet

12:42 Kids get told off

13:30 Mum tells Dad off for drinking to much

14:00 Dad moans at Mum for not having dinner ready

14:23 Family eat Christmas dinner

15:24 Table bickering begins

18:05 First for ownership of remote control

19:25 Play games (Charades, board games)

22.30 Bed time

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said: “Christmas Day entails lots of excitement, tension and high expectations. Therefore family flare-ups are bound to happen, especially as lots of people are staying together under one roof.

“To ease tensions this year we have noticed that more Britons are booking their Christmas guests into a nearby Travelodge to help reduce the additional family stress factor. By stopping over at a nearby hotel, all parties get the space that they need and when united on the day they can truly enjoy their family time together.”

Further findings revealed despite the acrimony, 13% of Britons make time to celebrate peace on Earth and goodwill by going to church while 27% sit down to watch the Queen's Speech with their family.

Eighty five per cent of respondents reported they enjoy hosting Christmas Day despite the stresses and cost involved of entertaining relatives.