Christmas and alcohol can be a toxic formula

HOUGHTON — A recent survey conducted by American Addiction Centers revealed that one in five Michigan family gatherings devolve into drunken arguments during Christmas.

American Addiction Centers, a leading provider of addiction treatment and resources, surveyed 3,405 families to find out how families deal with alcohol-fueled feuds over the holiday season. It was found that almost 1 in 5 (18%) Michigan family gatherings involve drunken arguments during the holiday season. This was below the national average of 21%. In fact, of all the joy-depleting family feuds there have been in the family over the years, the average Michigander said 38% of them involved the presence of alcohol.

Vertical Cherry, which broke the survey down, stated that:

– 38% say family arguments involve the presence of alcohol.

– Politics is typically the main reason for family arguments over the Christmas period.

– 4 in 5 have at least one extended family member who annoys them.

Of course, bringing together close and distant relatives of different ages and varying mindsets has the potential to end up badly, especially when alcohol is involved, Vertical Cherry states. In fact, an overwhelming number of people (81%) said they have at least one extended family member who annoys them. And when it comes to drinking, over half (57%) of respondents said they also have at least one extended family member who becomes confrontational or argumentative when they have alcohol at get-togethers.

It seems that families in Delaware were most affected by these alcohol-fueled family feuds, said Vertical Cherry, with 1 in 3 stating these types of arguments generally take place in their household over the festive period. Comparatively, households in Hawaii tend to keep the peace with just 5% of people who said they experience family gatherings featuring drunken arguments over the season.

Many people consider the holidays a difficult time of year to come together in high spirits with relatives from near and far as there is almost always an argument that ensues. This time of year, the internet is filled with tips and tricks on how to avoid or resolve family conflicts during a time that is meant to be overflowing with joyous spirits and holiday festivities. But, when alcohol is involved, things can get even more boisterous around the dinner table.

The occurrence of drunken arguments affects some so drastically that 68% said they would consider an alcohol-free family Christmas in order to avoid these festive-dampening feuds.

Among the top topics people should avoid discussing over the dinner table is politics, which one-third of respondents said politics is typically the main reason for family arguments over the Christmas period. Long standing family tensions (29%) and money (17%) were also significant contributing factors to family bickering. Additionally, 17% stated that taking games too seriously, the root cause of arguments over the holidays.

“There’s no rivalry like a sibling rivalry, so it seems,” Vertical Cherry pointed out. “Five percent of people said this is the main cause of their holiday arguments, and lastly, 3% of people said their family tends to argue over the cooking.”


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