I may be a bit bah humbug about the whole season (well, okay a lot bah humbug, lol) but like everyone else I still have to go through the ‘big’ day itself.
Wanting it over and with as little upheaval as possible means I run the day in quite a regimented way, so that things go as smoothly as possible.
This requires a lot of organisational skills – one of my strengths! So I thought I would share some top tips for surviving Christmas Day with your sanity intact, here goes…
1. BE PREPARED – The good old Girl Guides and Boy Scouts motto.
Preparation is everything. Besides the obvious making sure you have all the presents, food and paraphernalia I always make sure to also have the following preparations to hand
- Batteries – a plentiful supply of working batteries of all sizes for that inevitable gift that needs them but the giver has not included them!
- Tools – screwdrivers, most likely and scissors – all the items that might be needed to ‘break-in’ to those overly well wrapped gifts, open battery compartments or assemble those frustrating fiddly gifts that need assembling – cause you know the kids won’t want to wait! have a plentiful supply of these objects to hand!
- A spare gift – just a small box of chocolates or tin of biscuits, ready wrapped but unlabeled for that unexpected visitor you hadn’t bought for…
- A good family film – just in case everyone objects to whatever Christmas Movie that is showing on TV, having a family favourite ready to pop on to keep them all distracted while you are cooking will minimise them disturbing you in the kitchen!
- Gather the items needed for step 3 in advance.
- Hold back a small but interesting gift for each of your children – stash this somewhere they won’t know to look. then at stage 3 or any other point where it looks like they are reaching critical boredom levels spring this on them for a renewed period of joy (and well needed distraction!) 😉
Knowing that you are going to be busy slaving away over the stove you need to ensure that all tasks which could interfere with this are covered by someone else.
Firstly, put a sign on the kitchen door – make it before hand and to ‘soften’ the blow use glitter. The sign should read ‘Do not enter – unless you are making the drinks!’ now you need a dedicated drinks maker who will not allow any other disturbances – your husband/wife or partner is probably the best choice for this, at least you will get a few moment s of ‘alone’ time when they pop in to make a drink this way! hehe.
If they are anything like mine your guests (own parents or in-laws, or both!) will want to pop in and chat and offer to ‘help’ but actually just be in the way and distracting you – so allow yourself 10 minutes chatting time when they arrive and then set a firm but fair laying down of the law- you appreciate their offers to help, but really have it all covered, what would be really helpful is if they can keep the children occupied so you can get on with the cooking – show them the ‘be prepared supplies’ get the movie on, thank them again – then close the kitchen door!
Older children can also be a help here – have them prepared in advance that they are responsible for looking after the grandparents – and keeping them out of the kitchen! This two pronged attack should ensure that each is looking out to keep the other from disturbing you.
Now, shut the kitchen door, turn on your favourite tunes and sing away while you cook and pretend that maybe just maybe, World War 3 is not about to kick off in your lounge while your back is turned!
3. Have an Escape Plan
So you have managed to get through the morning, Christmas Dinner and evening is fast approaching. Having the light snacks ready prepared now is your time to escape before curling up with the family for the evening movie or games (whichever is your families usual entertainment to close the day).
To be ready to tackle this final stage of the day a bit of time out may be needed. So, having prepared ahead (add these to your ‘be prepared’ list) gather your favourite bath smellies, candles, a glass of your choice of plonk, a good book and some chocolate (buy some in case no-one considers giving you any as a gift – it always happens when you most want some, you don’t get any! lol)
Make sure the family are again occupied with their christmas gifts, TV or a movie then…
Disappear for a nice soak in a luxury bath, using the fact that you need to wash away all the sweat after spending so long slaving away in the kitchen as your excuse to take a break from it all, and return refreshed for that final part of the day – when guaranteed everyone will be starting to get bored and grumpy as the fun is nearing an end!
Have a great Christmas Day – hope these tips help you to survive the day! 🙂
What are your top tips for getting through the holiday period?
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