Christmas Problems: Sorted! Photo: Getty Images

The sitch:
You’re dreading being attacked by cheek-pinching relatives who treat you like you’re still a baby.

The fix: Everyone loves to make cute noises and go OTT with squeezy hugs and slobbery kisses when it comes to babies, but since you’re not being pushed around in a pram anymore, having relatives gush over you has become downright embarrassing. Not to mention annoying!

If the cheek-pinching fest is making family festivities unbearable, it’s time to take action. Be prepared with a plan of attack. The trick is redirecting their attention. When you see your aunty coming toward you ready for a face squeezing sesh, simply run in for a big hug before she gets the chance. She’ll be so happy and surprised, chances are she’ll forget all about the cheek pinching and just hug you right back.

If there’s a particular family member who always talks to you like you’re a baby, try turning the subject matter of the conversation back on them by asking them about their job, interests and hobbies. Once the limelight is off you you’ll be able to relax again. And if all that doesn’t work, just try running the other way when you see them coming!


The sitch: You don’t get along with your cousins

The fix: Just because you’re related doesn’t mean you always love spending time together. Getting along can often be hard work, especially when your cousins’ idea of fun is throwing you onto the ground for an unannounced wrestling match or stealing all of your Christmas chocolates!

That said, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and it’s our differences that we can learn the most from. Try seeing things from their perspective for a change. Perhaps they’re jealous because you always get the best chocolates, or maybe it’s their way of getting your attention so you’ll play with them.

Change your reaction to their behavior and they’re likely to change theirs too. Instead of screaming and snatching, try offering them one of your Christmas treats, or inviting them to play a board game instead of a pinching attack.

If you stay calm and positive, it will eventually rub off. And if things still get heated, try taking a time out. Just excuse yourself from the room and find a quiet spot where you can sit alone for a few minutes and recollect yourself so you can return to the festivities feeling refreshed and ready to party! 

The sitch: You hate having to accept lame gifts and wear the daggy sweater your nanna knitted you every year

The fix:

This sitch is a plain old case of princess syndrome. Instead of looking at how lucky you are to be surrounded by people who love you and have put time and effort into showing you that through their gifts, you’ve become fixated on how they could have made it better.

While the daggy mug your uncle got you might not have been your first choice of present, it’s important to recognise the effort that went into choosing and wrapping it, especially for you. It’s even more important to remember that there are millions of kids all over the world who don’t get any gifts at all, and many who may be without food and shelter and a loving family to look after them.

Yeah, you’ll probably never wear that jumper your nanna made you again once the day is over, but showing it off with pride for a few measly hours will bring a huge smile to your nanna’s face – and that’s a gift money can’t buy!