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Christmas can be a magical time of the year. Traditionally, a time to spend with loved ones, taking part in festive activities and indulging in a constant stream of calorific treats. It’s something many of us look forward to - and plan for months, but it can also be a bit of a stress fest for parents.
These tips should help to get you through:
Clear some space - and get your kids in the Christmas spirit!
We’re kidding ourselves if we don’t acknowledge that, to varying degrees, gifts can be a significant part of Christmas day (especially for kids!). Make way for the new additions and get your children thinking about other people in the run up to the big day. Ask them to go through their toys and select the ones they’ve grown out of that other people might enjoy. After a quality control check and clean up, just pop them in to your local charity shop. This’ll make Christmas day less cluttered and will also get your kids thinking about others and appreciate how lucky they are. Win-win!
Take some time to chill
Take a step back from the madness and really enjoy the moment. Try and get organised before the big day and make a note of any key timings you need to be aware of. Be part of the gathering rather than constantly topping up the tea or distributing more chocolates. Have a drinks table and some bowls of snacks available for people to help themselves.
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If you’re hosting, Christmas day can seem like a mighty task - often starting with break of dawn prep work. Reduce the on-the-day stress with preparing what you can the day (or week!) before. Puddings can be made quite a way in advance - especially if you make use of the freezer - and the veggies can be prepped the night before. If you can, why not get your guests involved too? If you allocate a dish or treat for others to bring along with them, you can really reduce the stress levels.
People like to be needed. Get the little ones involved in distributing the gifts and clearing up the wrapping paper. A task or two might be just what they need to stop them from the usual Christmas day squabbles. Teenagers could be roped in to help build any gifts that might need a bit of construction work. You could recruit a guest or two to help with the final tasks of getting the food served - and there’s usually someone who wants the job of wine waiter. The key is to fit the right person to the right job.
These tips should help you get Christmas all wrapped up! Why not take a look at more of our Yuletide advice below? From quirky gifts to festive crafts to make with your kids, we’ve thought about the lot.