Amongst all the tinsel, Christmas pudding and fairy lights Christmas can be a stressful time of year. The financial pressures and family demands to pull off that 'perfect' Christmas can put pressure on relationships. Here's some tips form me to help you through to a romantic New Year:
• New relationship? Try going for something thoughtful rather than expensive. If you're not sure what they'd like, ask a close friend for help.
• Plan ahead. Talk to your partner about what would make your Christmas special and listen to how they would like to celebrate. Then plan it together so you can ensure you'll both be happy. It may be that you grew up with different traditions so it's important to discuss what you both feel should be included in your shared experience.
• Have realistic expectations. This is real life, not a fairy tale. You may burn the turkey, your sister's auntie's brother in law twice removed might drink a little too much and you may not get the gifts you wanted. But it's all meant to be fun so take it in your stride and just make sure it's memorable.
• Be prepared to compromise. In the past, lunch at your mums may have always been the way but now there's another family to consider. You could spend Christmas with his family and New Year with yours then swap the following year. Or if the families live close by you could have lunch at yours and dinner at his (and get two Christmas dinners!)
• Share the load. Communicate clearly with your partner and share the responsibilities. When you appreciate each other you'll both be more inclined to carry out what needs to be done without feeling that all the work is on you.
• Plan your finances. Work out how much you're going to need to not feel under pressure and start saving now - if you haven't already.
• Keep your sense of humour. The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. All the shopping, travelling around seeing relatives, entertaining friends and over indulging can take its toll.
Keep your relationship in mind this Christmas, spend some time together and make sure you focus on what's important for you and your partner.