It's that time of the year where we let our hair down, wave goodbye to any strict diets and basically let anything slide.

However it's also that time of the year where we're exposed to about a million things that annoy us and can make us feel down right uncomfortable.

From the picky aunt to go gift shopping for to the gogo who still loves to squeeze your cheeks but comments on how plump they've gotten.

We still love the holidays right?

Yes we do, if we can navigate minor and major irritations...

READ MORE: 10 unconventional Christmas gifts to buy for the trendy person in your life who has everything

Let's take a look at the different festive minefields and how we can (try) to dodge them.

1. That family member who says you've gained weight or are eating too much

This reader knows the scenario all too well: My boyfriend's mother keeps telling me I'm fat whenever we go and visit her.

And this young woman too: "My family body shames me during the festive season but it hurts less now when they call me sdudla"

There is literally one person in every family that feels the need to police how much weight someone is gaining and how much they choose to eat. There's only one solution for this one honey. Grab your fried chicken, mash potatoes, extra gravy and politely ignore. Or practice these hilarious clapbacks to roast your relatives.

2. Your old aunt who keeps asking when you're going to get married

Once you reach a certain age, (anything above 20), your older family members basically expect you to forget everything else and get someone to put a ring on it. I've been asked this a number of times and I am only 23! The best response for this is a Lady Gaga quote "My career will never wake up and tell me it doesn't love me anymore". 

3. The annoying person who asks "why are you drinking so much?

So it's Christmas time and you're trying to get your festive on when your judgmental cousin points out that you're drinking too much. This one is pretty simple. Tell that girl to mind her own business. But if your drinking is negatively affecting your behaviour or putting you in danger, or you've spotted someone else in trouble. take some advice on how you can help.

You may have let work stress turn you into a functional alcoholic.

READ MORE: Here's a fun game you can play with your family to save big bucks for Christmas

4. But then there's the troublemaker who calls you boring for not wanting to drink

Okay so just because you don't see yourself looking forward to a giant hangover or you simply don't enjoy drinking you're suddenly boring. Tell that girl (or boy) bye! 

You're not alone: Do you see yourself as sober curious, a mindful drinker or want to quit booze entirely?

5. The opportunist who keeps asking you for cash

"Ah we heard you're doing so well at your new job, don't you have a R50 for your uncle". This one gets me all the time. The only advice I could offer is duck and make sure you don't draw cash so they can't see how much you really don't have. It's your only hope. But if you got a bonus, what's a few lions between family?

But beware these four types of people you should never lend money to.

READ MORE: Will you be 'financially cheating' on your family and friends over Christmas?

6. Your mom in law who keeps giving you the side eye

Now hang on. We're not Jennifer Lopez or Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law.

I know all you really want to do is whack her over the head with a frying pan but you aren't trying to spend Christmas in a jail cell so, next best thing is to try and build a relationship with her.

Remember that as long as you're in a relationship with her son, she'll be around. Might as well make the most of it. 

And if it gets unbearable, try these techniques.

READ MORE: Ways to deal with a controlling mother-in-law

7. That family friend who keeps asking when you're going to graduate

So you're a couple of years behind and you've had to repeat a few modules in uni. It happens to the best of us. Unless they're paying for your tuition, it's no one's business but yours and the person funding it. And if they're using it as a way to one up you, it may be time to call it quits on the friendship.

READ MORE: Christmas side hustles: popular ways to make a few extra rands over the silly season

Have you experienced any of these Christmas minefields before, are there any that we haven't mentioned? If so share your experiences with us here.

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