Avoid the chaos and ensure your Christmas is wonderfully relaxed with our handy tips for surviving (and actually enjoying) the silly season…
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Planning is key.
Not to put the pressure on, but the success of any festive occasion you’re hosting hinges on how well planned you are. Everything from the food and drinks to the presents and decorations should be thought out well before Christmas morning. Organise with your family and friends in advance who’s driving who, what everyone’s bringing for lunch and who needs to be where when. This will keep your day on track and save you from having a midday meltdown.
It’s very easy to overwork your credit card at this time of year, but if you want to avoid the post-Christmas financial slump (and have a little leftover for the Boxing Day sales) then shop smart this year. Set a spending limit for each person on your list and stick to it. Food and drink can also take its toll on your bank account during the silly season, so if you’re hosting a get-together or Christmas lunch don’t be tempted to over-cater. You can always share the food responsibilities amongst your guests who are likely to bring a plate anyway, so you may as well make it part of the lunch menu!
Pace yourself (and those around you).
Christmas is a wonderful time to enjoy a champagne, a cocktail or even a cheeky brandy but just don’t overdo it, especially if you’re the host. Remember your guests are there to spend time with you and won’t be impressed if that means listening to you snore under the table. In saying that, remember to also look after your guests, especially those who are driving, by making a delicious non-alcoholic festive fruity punch. And if anyone does seem a little tipsy, hold on to their car keys and set them up a comfy bed on the couch.
Know your guests.
Obviously you know who your guests are, but if you can predict what they like and how they’re likely to behave, you can plan for a much more enjoyable day. You see, if you know that your uncle tends to enjoy a few too many sherrys, you can delegate someone to keep an eye on him. And if you know your sister hates brandy custard, you can delight her by leaving it off her serve of plum pudding and maybe adding some vanilla cinnamon cream instead. Little considerations like these will ensure a good day is had by all, including you!
Don’t try to do everything.
Christmas Day should be enjoyed with family and friends, so don’t overwork yourself by spending it in the kitchen and then napping in between courses. Pre-prepare as much food as possible in the days leading up, start the day with a sleep in (if the kids will let you) and share the kitchen duties throughout the day so you can actually sit down with your guests and and enjoy their company.