Given the restrictions caused by ‘you know what’, last Christmas would most probably have been a quiet affair where each household celebrated separately from one another. This year, we’ll be itching to share the big day together and might have forgotten about all the stresses that go with this. Madly rushing around trying to get everything perfect in no time at all is no one’s idea of fun. Nor is the family feud that bubbles up around a tense dinner table. So here’s a good way to avoid these problems.
One very important piece of advice is to buy these in advance. Christmas shopping in September or October might feel bizarre, but if you do this before the rush begins, it’s one less major thing to worry about when it gets close to the big day. Try it once and see how much easier everything is in December.
Again, this should be fun, not back-breaking. Pick enough things to ensure there’s something to everyone’s tastes, but don’t go overboard. We don’t need to eat so much that we can’t move for two days! Prepare as much as possible on Christmas Eve – peeling sprouts, cutting veg, making stuffing, and so on. If Christmas Day is just a case of putting things in the oven at various times, then it gives you plenty of time to enjoy yourself with the kids. Also, don’t be afraid to ask others to bring something (i.e. the grandparents could bring dessert). This takes even more pressure off you.
We don’t choose our family members and sometimes there are some who just don’t get on. One way to avoid arguments is to invite the feuders on separate days, if that’s possible. Otherwise, sit them at the opposite ends of the table or have a word with them before you start and get them to promise to each other that they won’t bring up the topic of tension that ruins everyone’s day.
With kids, jealousy can play a part in arguments, so make sure they each have a cracker, party popper, and the same type of advent calendar, and that they all get the chance to have a go with the remote control car, or whatever it is they might fight over.
For a drama-free Christmas, planning ahead is the best thing you can do. It won’t guarantee a harmonious day where everyone gets on, but it will allow you to prepare with distractions to minimize arguments. Likewise, you could still burn the potatoes, but at least you won’t have 101 other things to worry about at the same time.