Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are just around the corner and that means conviviality, presents and, of course, good food with family. But there is one topic best avoided at the festive table: salaries. It may seem harmless, but talking about your own pay or asking about family members' salaries can quickly create an awkward situation in the family circle. Staffing specialist Walters People lists a few reasons why it is better to keep your mouth shut about money matters during the holidays.  

1. Money and cosiness don't mix  

Money is often a sensitive subject. Not everyone earns as much or is in the same financial situation as you. During the holidays, you want to create an atmosphere of togetherness and not make anyone feel inferior. Even if you yourself are very happy with your salary and want to share that joy with your table mates, know that it can inadvertently cause jealousy, embarrassment or even stress. Just as well, you risk discovering that you earn a bit less than your tablemates and spend the rest of the evening dispirited yourself.  

2. No gift-giving competition  

Christmas is about giving, not measuring who earns the most. Talking about salaries can make it seem like you want to compete at the festive table. It can unintentionally create a sense of competition and overshadow the true meaning of the holidays. It is important, even if you have a higher salary, to respect the agreed gift budget. Do not exceed it to avoid gift-giving turning into an uneasy contest of financial status. After all, the value of the gift is not in the price tag, but in the thought behind it.  

3. Holidays are not a job interview  

When your family asks about your salary, it can feel like you've walked into a job interview. Especially if you have recently started in a new position, it is understandable that people are curious, but the holidays are not the time to share details about your salary. Focus on enjoying each other's company rather than professional achievements.

Tips for a stress-free dinner  

  • Divert the conversation: if the conversation does take an uncomfortable turn, subtly divert it to another topic. Think of fun memories, holiday plans or shared interests between you and your companion.  

  • Politely say no: when someone asks about your salary, be polite but firm. You are not obliged to share this information if you are not comfortable with it.  

  • Focus on what really matters: remind yourself that the holidays are about love, gratitude and togetherness. Money matters can wait until a more appropriate time.  

Want to know more?

Wondering if your salary is in line with the market? Then rely on expert advice and consult the Walters People salary survey.

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