Christmas Is Not Always A Time For Goodwill

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Written By Farid Shojaei

Christmas is a time for families and friends to catch up and hang out – but not if you dread the sight of them.

Expats in warmer climes often play host to Brits escaping the worst of winter at home over the Christmas and New Year break.

But the friendship, love and bonhomie is often faked.

One in 10 relatives dislike each other and one in three hosts can’t wait for their guests to leave, according to research by Hodge Bank.

Nearly half of Christmas guests will stay at their host’s home, while a third go back the same day and the rest stay in nearby accommodation.

Visits end in arguments

When questioned about why they wouldn’t be staying with family, one in ten (11%) admitted they disliked some of the people they are visiting, a fifth (19%) said they didn’t want to be a burden and 7% said the visit always ends in an argument.

Emma Graham, business development director of Hodge Bank, said: “Christmas is a time when family and friends usually gather together and celebrate, but it can also be a time of heightened stress and strain, as our survey clearly shows.

“Although 39% of those travelling to see friends and family say they won’t actually be staying overnight with them because they would rather have their own space, while 12% said they want to watch what they want on TV and nearly a third (29%) like to be able to come and go as they please.”

Season of love and joy

“Despite it being the season of love and joy, 16% of hosts also admitted in our survey they aren’t excited to be entertaining this yuletide either, and a third (37%) said they were already looking forward to it being over – with 9% citing the lack of their relatives having boundaries as a reason for their lack of enthusiasm!

“It is not surprising that more and more people are deciding to stay in holiday lets, hotels and Airbnb accommodation over the festive period – extending the staycation trend into the winter months, when traditionally the holiday let market is quiet, and bringing festive cheer to those in possession of such a property at least.”