The whole family, under one roof for the entire day, with presents, cooking, games and toys (and alcohol thrown into the mix) – it's a recipe for disaster.
How many of these classic Christmas fights happen in your house?
The bed time fight
No, you cannot stay up late, no, you cannot open 'just one' present tonight. It's the same thing every single year.
But you have an ace up your sleeve. The classic phrase: 'If you don't go to sleep, Santa won't come' - it's a shame it only lasts so long…
The present preparation fight
When did kids' toys start looking like flat-pack furniture? You say you won't do it, but every year you and the other half are up into the wee hours putting together that playhouse, bike, spaceship… These are the moments that test even the strongest relationship.
The wake-up time fight
Yes, you're excited, but 5am is not an appropriate wake-up time. Try as you might, you will never win this fight.
The present rush fight
You spend all year thinking, planning and preparing the gifts for them to be ransacked in a manic five minute opening spree (oh god the wrapping paper is EVERYWHERE). Is it too much to ask for a little calm? (Yes, it's Christmas.)
The great chocolate/breakfast fight
Chocolate for breakfast goes against every fibre of your parenting being but that selection pack does look tempting – a half-hearted battle will suffice (remember: you're the winner here too.)
The 'I definitely told you to buy batteries' fight
Their excited little faces just want to play with their new toys but, of course, there are no batteries, or at least not the right batteries, in the house. We're pretty sure we asked someone to take care of this…
The 'that's not how I would've done it' fight
Yes, mum (mum-in-law) that may not be how you would do it but YOU'RE NOT DOING IT, ARE YOU? No doubt said in a very mature, not at all stroppy teenage girl voice.
The 'don't you think it's too early to have a drink?' fight
No, did we mention it's Christmas?
The great sibling fight
All day, locked up with their siblings? That's just asking for trouble. Especially when shiny new toys are involved. It's not a matter of if but when - stay alert.
The moody teenager fight
Absolutely everything you do will annoy them – and there is no escape. Don't even try. You'll get them back in a few years.
The inevitable Christmas dinner fight
Too much/not enough, hungry faces/chocolate-full stomachs, the Christmas dinner is a minefield in itself. They should've learnt by now to keep their heads down and accept whatever they're given.
The family games fight
Have you ever noticed how alike you and your family are? You will when you start to play a game. Competitive? Bad news. Casual cheaters? Uh-oh. Family games are a risk and you will almost certainly clash with one person (well, who can actually agree on the rules for Trivial Pursuit?), but that's half the fun, right?
The Christmas TV fight
So much good TV on but do you all want to watch the same thing? Of course not! EastEnders, Dr Who, sport… thank goodness for Sky+
The leftover food fight
No, I did not buy too much food mother, I obviously planned it so we can have turkey curry, sandwiches and pies for the next few (million) months. (With Christmas leftover recipes as lovely as these, why wouldn't you!?)
But despite the many, many fights you'll have (no doubt the same fights every year), we bet you wouldn't change it for the world.
It's not perfect but hey, it's your Christmas.