Most family arguments at Christmas will be over what to watch on TV

(Photo: Unsplash/Jakob Owen)

'Tis the season to be jolly but for some families, that feel-good vibe might be in danger of being killed off by disagreements over what to watch on Christmas Day.

That's according to a survey of 2,000 families who said choosing what movie or TV show to watch after the Christmas dinner was likely to be the biggest source of tension on the day.

Other issues likely to put families on edge are arguments over who should do the washing up, the temperature of the heating, and what time to open the gifts.

The study, by sleep technology company Simba, also found that sleeping arrangements, deciding who hosts, and the seating arrangement at the dinner table could get the blood boiling.

Three in 10 Brits said they would probably have at least one argument with their loved ones this Christmas, with poor sleep being blamed for the frayed tempers.

Two thirds of Brits spending Christmas away from home said their sleep takes a knock during the festive season, with the average Brit managing only six hours of sleep on Christmas Eve.  Over a third (36 per cent) think the impact of Christmas on their sleep leaves them feeling more irritable. 

Keeping up appearances can also be tiring, with one in seven finding it challenging to constantly look like they are in a good mood.

But over a third take their Christmas family feuds in good humour, saying the festive season wouldn't be the same without a little spat with their family or friends, and those surveyed estimated that 44 per cent of the bust-ups last no longer than 10 minutes.

Simba CEO Steve Reid said: 'Lots of factors can raise tensions at Christmas time.

'Whether it's the pandemonium of having everyone under one roof, packed social calendars, losing the amount of quality sleep we get, or stress about the big day fraying our nerves, each can keep us from being our usual calm, well-rested selves.'

Reid added: 'These findings show that it's natural to feel both ecstatic and exhausted at the prospect of Christmas.'