EAT, drink and be merry - it's what we are told to do on Christmas Day.
However, at some gatherings tensions erupt and in the Mackay region that led to a spike in domestic violence callouts.
Police attended double the number of incidents they usually would on any given Sunday.
"There always is a spike (in domestic violence callouts) on Christmas Day," a police spokesman said yesterday.
It's a regular occurrence with people remembering unfinished arguments from the year before, he said.
"There are twice as many as we would (receive) on a normal Sunday," he said.
Alcohol could be a contributing factor to the escalated tension, the police spokesman said, adding that Christmas was also not a happy time for everyone.
Those emotions, mixed with alcohol can be a bad combination, he said.
The callouts can be anything from raised voices to more serious incidents, all of which comes under domestic violence legislation.
"And we'd act on that," the police spokesman said.
"It happens every year... always the same trend... late Christmas Day and late Boxing Day the calls tend to (increase)."
The calls can involve the same individuals.
"Certainly there are tensions in some families... some people shouldn't drink as much as they do," the spokesman said.
Private practice psychologist Kate Elliot said Christmas was often stressful because people had a lot of expectations.
"In reality, what happens when families get together is it brings up old tensions that have been there for years," she said.
"The reality doesn't match the expectations."
SPIKE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CALLOUTS
- A police spokesman said officers could receive between three and four calls on a normal Sunday.
- On Christmas Day officers responded to about eight or nine callouts for various incidents under the domestic violence legislation.
- Traditionally callouts also increased on Boxing Day, he said.
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