Brits row up to five times during the festive season

A new survey by reveals the number 1 family row is where to spend Christmas Day, while at least half of us argue on a daily basis during our annual holiday

Christmas holidays 15/11/2012 - Where to spend Christmas Day and who to spend it with can be the root cause of a number of unpleasant family rows, according to recent research by holiday rentals specialist .

The study of 2,000 Brits conducted by the UK’s number one holiday rentals website, found that almost half of respondents argue up to five times during the festive season. Which side of the family to visit or invite over for Christmas is the second biggest cause of rows. A further 26 per cent bicker about how much money to spend on one another, and their friends and family.  Other clangers include who carves the turkey, who does the washing up and what to watch on TV!

Families and couples are certainly feeling under more pressure at Christmas than other time of year, according to Relate*, the relationship support charity. Despite this, the majority of people do agree on one thing - that being together as family is the most important thing overall. Over 70 per cent of survey respondents agreed with this unanimously and 1 in 3 said Christmas was a good time to go away with family and friends. Booking a private cottage or going away on a skiing or winter sun holiday were popular choices for those Brits who had gone away from home in the past during the festive period.

 “A relaxing and restful Christmas break away from home is a brilliant way of ensuring the festivities don’t spark off any family fireworks at home,” comments Andy Cockburn, HomeAway UK Regional Director. “Holiday rentals are a great home-from-home option as they provide the perfect setting to spend quality time with your loved ones, as well as more space, privacy and amenities than a hotel room.”

Psychologist Dr Sandi Mann, Director of the Mind Training Clinic in Manchester, agrees that getting away is a great coping tactic. “Family dynamics can be so ingrained, resulting in bad behavioural ruts,” she says. “It is very common to associate a venue – be it your own home or a relative’s - with ill feeling from recurring arguments that crop up every year. If we are not in our usual habitats we are less likely to revert to type.”

At , there are holiday rentals available over the festive break to suit every budget, from cosy country cottages in the Cotswolds and the Lake District to peaceful coastal retreats in Cornwall and Wales. Starting at £300 per week, you won’t be blowing the present buying budget by booking one, but you will ensure a relaxing family Christmas to remember.

Top 10 family rows during Christmas:

  1. Where to spend Christmas Day
  2. Which family to visit
  3. How much to spend on other people
  4. Who cooks the Christmas dinner
  5. How much to spend on each other
  6. Who does the washing up
  7. Having to work too much over the holiday
  8. Which movie or TV programme to watch
  9. Whether to go out for Christmas dinner or stay at home
  10. What presents to buy for the kids

NOTES TO EDITORS results are based on a nationally representative survey of 2000 UK respondents conducted in October 2012 using OnePoll (online and mobile polling). has over 320,000 private properties available to rent worldwide including more than 12,000 in the UK alone.

*January 2012 saw Relate, the relationship support charity, experience a 116% increase in calls to its helpline from people needing relationship support, compared to calls in December. The massive increase in calls, up 20% from the same days last year, shows families and couples are feeling under more pressure. One in three callers said they had an awful or really awful Christmas last year. [Statistics from calls to the Relate Response line comparing working days Jan 3 – 5 2012 compared to Dec 1, 2, 5 2011.]

Media contacts:

Anca Popa, PR Assistant
020 3513 0801