PEOPLE in Taunton and West Somerset are being offered tips on avoiding bust ups and staying together over the festive season.

Counsellors are offering the following advice to help families keep the peace at Christmas:

  • For many money will be tight this Christmas, so try not to spend more than you can afford.
  • Who goes where and when can be a huge issue for parents who have split up and for step families - as hard as it is, try and keep as calm as possible and keep your children’s best interests at heart.
  • Turn the telly off and instead look out some board games to play, go for a walk, have some family/together time.
  • Remember family members who might be alone, or who find the festive period difficult - pop in or give them a call.
  • Share tasks among family and friends.
  • If there is any tension in your family, steer clear of alcohol as it will aggravate the situation.
  • Have fun. If things get a bit heated, go for a long walk – fresh air and exercise are a great antidote for tension.

Veronica Beckett, of Relate Taunton and West Somerset, said: "The period after Christmas is the busiest time for Relate, so we know and understand the pressures people are facing.

"If the festive season is getting too much for you, then make sure you talk to someone, your partner, a friend, your family."

You can arrange an appointment with a Relate counsellor by calling 0300-7729681 or visiting