How to survive Christmas

Ten tips from the Spires Suites to help you have a merry Christmas filled with peace and goodwill

Christmas should be a time of peace and goodwill. But it can all-too-easily turn to strain, stress and strife.

The Spires offers

Make sure you don’t ruin your family Christmas by following these tips:

1. Don’t agonise over gift ideas. Keep a notebook (or a file on your computer) and note down any Christmas gift ideas or hints during the year. You’d be surprised how often your nearest and dearest will give you clues in January to what they would like in December!

2. Don’t set yourself too high a goal on Christmas gifts. Look for something different at a Christmas market (like the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, Glasgow’s Traditional Christmas Market, or the Aberdeen International Street Market). Or, how about creating something yourself like a home-made calendar, a framed photograph, or hand-made decorations. This is not meant to be a competition about who has spent most on gifts for loved ones!

3. Keep your preparations simple. Don’t fret about buying the nicest tree, the most lavish decorations and the most expensive food. You’ll have a better time if you are not worrying about how to pay for it all.

4. At Christmas many families are thrust together. Niggles or problems can come to the surface. Back away from conflict. Avoid negativity, don’t criticise. Remember this is a special time of year and just smile, or laugh it off, if someone says something that touches a nerve

5. Go easy on the alcohol. We’re not suggesting you abstain. Just be sensible. Apart from ruining your Boxing Day, over-indulging can cloud your judgement and cause you to say something that might inflame family issues.

6. Don’t overstay your welcome. Squeezing a whole family into one small house is a recipe for friction. Make it easier on everyone. Why not book accommodation locally? That way you can visit, but also escape when you need time on your own.

7. Set an affordable budget for your Christmas, to cover gifts, decorations, food and drink. Stick to it. Try not to use the credit on your cards to pay for Christmas. Aim to be able to pay them off in January, to avoid a financial hangover in 2010.

8. On the big day, sit back, relax, enjoy the company of friends or family. Avoid stress. No one is in a hurry, or working to a deadline at a family Christmas celebration.

9. If the weather is good enough, go for a family walk on Christmas Day. The fresh air, exercise and change of scenery will do you good.

10. Christmas can be a very lonely time if you are on your own. Why not invite a neighbour who lives alone, for a visit? Or, if you are alone yourself, offer your services to help make Christmas brighter for those less fortunate. Charities will welcome your help and you will have a much better time than sitting home alone feeling sorry for yourself.

To help people follow some of these tips, the Spires Suites is offering some special deals between now and the New Year.

  • To make Christmas Shopping less stressful, The Spires is offering special rates for a two-night shopping stay in Birmingham, Glasgow or Aberdeen. Rates start from as little as £37 per person for a suite that can accommodate up to six.
  • To avoid the stresses of everyone living under one roof, the Spires Suites has very special rates over Christmas and New Year. Book six nights between December 11 and January 4 and you get a seventh night free. Book ten nights and you get an additional four nights free.

The Spires has suites to sleep two, four or six people and each suite has a fully-fitted dining kitchen, living room and bathroom (two in deluxe suites). So you can even invite the relatives to come and visit you!

Prices start at £540 for six nights, with the seventh night free. Full details are on The Spires website at

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