Are you the one who makes Christmas happen every year? If you’re like my family, it’s never exactly gone perfectly. Uncle Fred shows up late with a big bucket of chicken. Somebody’s kid has a meltdown from all the activity that confuses him. Maybe you’ve overexerted yourself to the point where you need a break. If you plan ahead this year, you can cut down on the craziness and bring your holidays a little closer to perfect.
Send Out Invitations!
Invitations should be one of the first things on your list when you start planning this year’s holiday celebration. Set the time and date that you expect festivities to start and stick to it. That won’t necessarily stop Uncle Fred from showing up late, but at least he will know that he’s just going to get leftovers.
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Trust me, a little planning can go a long way. That way, you’re less worn out on Christmas Day and things go more smoothly.
Go lightly on the decorating. Trust me on this one. You don’t want to be the one who spent too much time on the holiday decorations and not enough time making sure the food is done to perfection. Simple yet elegant is the way to go in this field. If you’d like some ideas, check out Youtube videos like this one on decorating a table for Christmas.
Start the food in advance. You know those people who make double of everything and freeze some for later. Ham sandwiches that have been in the freezer for about a month taste exactly the same as ones made fresh once they’ve thawed and gone into the oven. That saves the time it takes to prepare the food and you’ll only have to take it out to stick in the oven.
…Or make it a potluck. Sure, Uncle Fred can bring his bucket of chicken though most people will probably just go for the ham anyway. This takes a load off you and everybody has the satisfaction of chipping in for the holidays.
Set aside a separate space for children. You can have fun with the adults while keeping one eye on children and their activities at their own table. This helps cut down on the inevitable mischief that happens simply because kids get bored with adult activities.
…And have a “time-out” room. Set aside a place to send children who are about to have a meltdown so they can do it in private. Make sure all parents know that you won’t tolerate misbehavior this year.
Be careful with the seating arrangement. So maybe two cousins just can’t stand each other. When setting up your tables, it helps to have place tags that keep them separate so that they don’t get into a shouting match like they did last year.
Bring out the dorky hat. One year, we all had to wear a penguin hat while opening our presents. It was a little embarrassing, but kind of fun to see how people looked while wearing it.
Enjoy your own party. With advance planning, you can simply relax and enjoy the festivities.
What Will You Give As Gifts?
- A Geek’s Christmas. Let’s face it, the slightly unsocial but very smart person in your family deserves a Merry Christmas too.
- Hot new tablets. Because you have friends and family who are going places and need to have computing power at their fingertips.
- The kids who need a new bunk bed. Not the most exciting gift in the world, but since they need it, be sure kids and their parents know how to assemble a bunk bed and use it safely.
- Some new reading material. Stock up on anything from books that might have been banned from a child’s school library to some excellent recipes in favorite cookbooks.
- Legos are pretty neat. If you have someone on your gift list who has gotten bored with the simpler Lego kits, you might consider some more complex Lego kits for the science fiction fan.