Christmas can be a nightmare when it comes to working out how to see everyone you want to see without hurting peoples feelings or missing anyone out.
And the last thing you want at Christmas is to be stressed about it all.
So a little planning up front can make the world of difference – here are my top tips to ensure your schedule and social life runs smoothly over the holidays – hope they help!
TIP #1 – USE A PLANNER
If you only do one thing to get organised this Christmas, it would be to buy a planner.
Socialising and events around this time can be hectic to say the least, and if you’re not careful something will get double booked or even fall through the cracks and be forgotten.
The only way is to make sure you write everything down that you are going to – in one place.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but I would suggest having it hung on the wall so that everyone in the house can see it.
When you have this, you can start to book in events and things – which leads me nicely onto…..
TIP #2 – BRAINSTORM WHAT’S ON
First things first – you need to know what you want to do, and what events are on throughout the festive time.
It’s great to brainstorm this on a sheet of paper – so that you (hopefully) don’t miss anything – and get the whole family involved.
You may find the following list a good starting point: –
- Childrens school breaking up date
- Childrens nativity / concert
- Santa visit
- Switching on lights in town
- Decorating the house / buying a tree
- Traditional days (maybe you always spend Boxing day somewhere specific, for example)
- Carol service
- Shopping day(s)
The next step here is to add in the dates that all these are on, if they have specific dates. This will help you to see what you can and can’t fit in over the time, and once you decide what you are doing, it can all go on your planner!
TIP #3 – YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL
Although it’s fantastic to do loads over Christmas, don’t feel like you have to do everything….
Just as important at this time of year is to have some time to relax and just be at home enjoying your time. Kids can get time to play with their presents, you could have a family film afternoon and generally just unwind a little.
And lastly – if you have to say NO, then don’t feel guilty. You deserve some down-time as well this Christmas. The last thing you want is to be going back to your usual routine after Christmas feeling like you need a break….
TIP #4 – BOOK TIME WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
Be proactive and plan when you will see people as soon as possible in the run up to Christmas.
People can get booked up really far in advance, so you want to ensure you get to see as many people as you want to – without having to compromise too much on how much time you get with them etc…
TIP #5 – MAKE THE MOST OUT OF WHERE YOU WILL BE
If you will be travelling over Christmas at all, then are there any friends on the way that you could drop by and see?
Can you stay an extra night and arrange to meet friends somewhere close by?
Think about your location each day, and make the most out of it if at all possible.
TIP #6 – SEND PARTY INVITES ASAP
If you are wanting to host a party over Christmas (or any time in December really), then get those invites out as soon as you possibly can.
People get booked up and you don’t want to have no one able to come. Leave it until the last minute and most will already have plans….
TIP #7 – SEE PEOPLE IN GROUPS
If you want to see various friends over the holidays, why not look to see people in groups?
You could have everyone over for a buffet style lunch where they all bring some food and you all catch up together. Or what about holding a Christmas drinks party for a couple of hours one evening?
It’s a lovely idea to get to see friends over Christmas by having early evening drinks (mulled wine and nibbles) one evening in the lead up to the big day (works well if you invite children if you have a Christmas film on in one room and do snacks for them as well – as babysitters can be hard to find at this time of year!)
If you get to see everyone, and you have some fun in the process, that’s got to be better than trying to see each person separately…
TIP #8 – YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE…
No matter what you plan to do over the holidays, there will more than likely be someone who isn’t happy with where you will be or what you are doing. That’s just how it tends to be over this time.
Try and ensure that you have a nice Christmas as well – no one will thank you for not enjoying yourself and just doing things for others, as they probably won’t even notice (sad, but true!).
Families can easily fall out over what to do at this time of year, so just keep in mind that it really is just another day.
One idea that works well is that if you can’t visit everyone during Christmas week, then why not plan to see people as soon as possible in the New Year instead?
TIP #9 – BOOK EARLY
Whatever you are wanting to do over Christmas, book things early to avoid being disappointed.
We always go to the pantomime on Christmas Eve (family tradition), but I have learnt to book pretty much as soon as Christmas is over for the following year!
So, if you want to go for a meal, go to the theatre**, travel etc… – make sure you have booked as soon as you possibly can.
TIP #10 – ENSURE YOUR HOME IS READY FOR HOSTING
If you are hosting – get your home ready for the holidays by ensuring you have worked out who’s sleeping where, what is needed in terms of beds, bedding, seats, crockery, cutlery etc…. – don’t be caught short!
You want to enjoy socialising and not be stressed by what you haven’t got prepared – so plan well in advance to avoid hassles.
(If you need extra supplies, then try and get people to bring things to help out as no one minds doing so over the holidays!)
A bit of planning goes a really long way when it comes to having a great Christmas and spending time doing what you want to do.
Get a planner to ensure you don’t double book or over book – and plan as far in advance as you possibly can. Also be clever about what you book as you can save lots of time and hassles by doing so…
And last but not least – remember to have some time to relax as well and enjoy Christmas – you deserve it!