A successful family Christmas

A successful family Christmas
As the festive season approaches, our attention turns to spending time with the family and the joy, stress and unpleasant surprises it brings. Is there a secret formula to ensure that all this runs smoothly without any hiccups? Here’s our advice for a successful Christmas Day.
Before D day
- For those who are apprehensive about family reunions - don’t panic. Get yourself in the mood by watching a funny movie like Jodie Foster’s ‘Home for the Holidays.’
- Make sure that all the practical details are sorted out several weeks ahead - reserve your plane/train ticket and make sure it's a return! Let your relatives know when you’ll be arriving, take a delicious dessert with you that caters for all tastes, buy all your presents and make sure they're all wrapped.
- Prepare yourself psychologically for unwanted, unpleasant comments. Your mother will surely comment on your health and your sister-in-law may innocently (or not) let slip a comment about your weight. Teach yourself to keep that smile on your face no matter what comes your way.
- Treat yourself, choose your party dress with care and dust off those golden stilletos. Why not get a massage? It will help you feel relaxed and more importantly, beautiful!

D day
- Music is soothing as well as uplifting, so take a compilation of selected Christmas songs with you to get everyone in the right mood and into the Christmas spirit.
- Help the host: offering a hand will demonstrate your good will as well as keeping family relations sweet!
- Get the children involved, especially in the kitchen. Get them to help make star-shaped biscuits, for example. It’s child’s play and will help them to understand that Christmas is not just about presents.
- Suggest some group activities and games, such as decorating the tree together, board games, watching a film etc. Great bonding stuff.
- Dress and set the table with chandeliers, crystal glasses and branches of holly.
- Get the children to design place names with a festive theme and put them in each person’s place.
- Keep the myth of Father Christmas alive for the children. Leave a mince pie or milk and biscuits for him near the fireplace if you have one, and after the children have gone to sleep, put the presents discreetly under the tree or in stockings.
- If you receive an unwanted gift (soap, bubble bath, lavender body cream - you know the type!), put things into perspective and remember that the most important thing about Christmas is spending time with those we love. Hide your disappointment and thank them warmly!

Boxing Day
Give yourself a day of detox to chase away all those impurities you've consumed! Vegetable soup and unlimited herbal tea will help to clean your system and then you can start getting ready for New Year's Eve!
Published by Sarah Horrocks
12 Feb 2008
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