The Christmas season should be a festive time filled with family, friends and goodwill. Of course, it’s sometimes a time of high expectations and confrontation. Every member of the family is typically expecting wonderful things to occur, and they’re likely to get vocal if they don’t think things are turning out as perfectly as they envisioned.

Even the most cheerful family isn’t likely to make it through the holiday season without an argument breaking out. But, keeping tempers from flaring can be as easy as being calm and knowing what to say to diffuse the situation. Read on for some tips on how to respond when you hear…

“I Want to Sleep In on Christmas Morning!”

For younger kids, the alarm clock can’t ring early enough on Christmas morning. They’re eager to see what presents Santa may have left for them. However, once they get a bit older, they will likely be less excited about getting up in the wee hours of the morning. If there are still young kids in the house, explain to your teens that it’s important for the entire family to be involved in Christmas activities. If all of your kids have grown out of “Santa age,” you can easily push back your Christmas morning celebration to early afternoon.

“I Want Something Else for Dinner!”

The foods that you eat for Christmas dinner can become just as much of a tradition as the dinner itself. So, you may not be too happy if and when a family member wants spaghetti rather than ham and potatoes. Instead of changing the menu completely, come to a compromise. Cook a smaller portion of whatever your family member wants along with your traditional Christmas fare. Let the whole family try it. If they like it, add it to the menu as part of your annual feast.

“We Can’t Afford That!”

A strained financial situation is one of the main causes of arguments among couples, and the holiday season means even more strain than usual. If you and your loved one are arguing over how much a holiday party might cost, work out a budget together and stick to it while you plan your party. If that person thinks you’re spending too much or too little on gifts for the kids, create a gift list with them and decide how much you’ll spend on each child.

“We Should Spend Christmas with My Family This Year!”

If your family spends every single holiday at your parents’ house, your significant other might decide that it’s time for a change. It’s important to reach a compromise so that they get to partake in their Christmas tradition as well. You might alternate between family Christmas parties from year to year, or spend the morning with one family and the evening with the other. There are several options to consider which makes it fair to everyone involved.

These are just four common Christmas-related arguments that may pop up during the holiday season. Be prepared! Keeping these examples (and solutions) in mind will help to ensure the most harmonious Christmas possible.