Ho-ho-ho, ‘tis the season to be merry! However with Christmas just around the corner, it’s far more likely that you’re feeling anxious and perhaps a little under pressure? Your “to do” list seems to stretch for miles, there’s the ever present family issues – who’s going where and when – and then to top it all, the kids break up from school, need entertaining and all your normal routines go out of the window .
At Room to Grow we’re no different and how best to balance all the demands of family over the festive period got us all talking. So, we thought we would share our top tips for Christmas survival with you, and help get the season of goodwill off to a good start.
1. Set a realistic budget
…for presents, food, and other things and try to keep to this as best you can. This can be a real challenge in today’s climate, however remember that Christmas is all about creating memorable experiences, not about presents. Creating your own family Christmas traditions and memories, with a bit of planning and forethought, come free.
2. Decide where you are having Christmas and stick to it
Its stressful keeping everyone happy isn’t it? There may be disappointment, but as long as it’s fair and you see as many people as you can, it’s best to make the decision as early as possible so everyone has time to get used to it. Remember you don’t have to do it all on one day – arranging a special “Christmas Day” on another date is perfectly acceptable for friends and family who live further afield.
3. Do things that matter
You do not have to accept every invitation. Get together and write a list of what everyone in your family really wants to do. If the kids remember something from last year and enjoyed it, then it’s worth doing it again. With older children discuss family time and time off for their friends so you both get a happy balance.
4. Fewer, more meaningful presents for the children
Once children in particular get past the third or fourth present, no matter how great they are, you hit a wall of diminishing returns and enthusiasm wanes. Focusing on a few quality presents and trying to make sure at least one of them encourages creative play is the real trick. Here’s a little rhyming mantra that could help you focus on giving your child just 4 things:
•Something they want
•Something they need
•Something to wear
•Something to read
5. Let go of “perfect”
Don’t set your expectations too high, go with the flow and make time to enjoy the things that are important like quality time with your family, rather than stressing over every little detail. Don’t try and keep everyone happy all the time and make sure you have some time out as the more rested you are the more you’ll be able to enjoy things. And finally – don’t try and do everything yourself – make a list of jobs which need to be done and allocate them between family or other guests that are joining you.
We hope you survive!
A very Happy Christmas and every good wish for the New Year
From all the team at Room to Grow.