It’s that time of year again when everyone is planning what they’ll be doing Christmas Day – what time is the roast, when are you opening presents and whether you’ll be heading out to see the Royals, if, like me, you are lucky enough to live near Sandringham.

The age-old argument over whether it is better to be single or in a couple at Christmastime will surface again as singles prepare themselves for what might be their first solo Christmas after a break-up, they prepare to sit around with the family watching their siblings fawn over their other halves. And what about those work Christmas parties or those annoying uncles? Having to answer the same old questions about when you’re going to find a nice boyfriend and settle down… Bleurgh.

It can be depressing to be single at Christmas if you think about matching Christmas jumpers, finding the perfect present for the one you love and snuggling up in front of the fire. But what about the flip side – you also end up spending a fortune on Christmas presents and face that huge battle of where to spend Christmas!

As someone who has been in a relationship for nearly seven years, but who doesn’t yet live with said boyfriend – this time of year can be just plain annoying. Much as I love my boyfriend, we haven’t moved in together yet – a combination of reasons – mainly money. But the fact that we don’t means that we don’t have any real choice in how we spend Christmas. We are still stuck in that in-between phase where I have to spend much of it at home with my parents, sister and grandfather, which I love, but it is a struggle to even go out with friend to the pub on these days because they have so much planned! I hate to hurt their feelings, and I love every one of our Christmas traditions, from the party on Christmas Eve through to the Christmas Day walk and visit to the seaside and watching the Royals.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend, who now lives with a friend, has spent his last few Christmases visiting his mum’s house for dinner and presents, spending most of the day there, trying to fit a visit to his father’s house, an hour away, to see his grandparents and  spending the rest of the time tucking into cheese boards and getting drunk at his new house. We both love Christmas and spending it at our different homes, but I can’t help but long for just one Christmas where we could spend it just by ourselves. We could eat ridiculous amounts, stay in our pants all day and although I would force him to watch the EastEnders Christmas Special, we could watch whatever we liked after!

It is difficult when you are in an adult relationship, but are unable to live together because there are so many demands put on you by other people and it is so hard to refuse because you don’t want anyone to feel left out. Also, you yourself do not want to miss out on doing anything or seeing anyone. But it is so hard when everyone wants a piece of you – it is just impossible to fit in Christmas dinner with every branch of your own family, and everyone in your boyfriend’s family as well! I don’t think there is really any remedy for the situation other than to run away, shut up and get on with it, or complain and hurt people’s feelings. Not my style, so I’ll pipe down and get on with it! At least I can escape to his house when things get a bit much with all of my family packed into my house!

How are you spending Christmas this year? Do you face the same couple/family struggles each Christmas? How do you cope?