Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas Dilemmas - Resolved


They say moving house, getting married and divorce are the top 3 most stressful situations a human faces. They're not wrong but what should also be up there is how Christmas can also put you on the road to a nervous breakdown. 

Months of planning, the bank emptied and the imminent arrival of the dreaded mother in law can send even the most cool, calm and collected of people crazy but i have master minded the answers to all of the festive seasons dilemmas so that you can hopefully enjoy a stress free Christmas.


The Kids Won't Sleep on Christmas Eve!

I have a 10 year old daughter and that means i have had 10 years of hysteria and refusal to sleep on Christmas Eve. Well...she was quite content as a baby so let's say 9 years. Believe me i know how difficult it is to settle a child when they are excited about something especially when it comes to Christmas. The trick here is to not excite them. Sounds stupid because Christmas is about kids really and the magic that surrounds it and i'm not saying it shouldn't be filled with magical loveliness, but you have to take control. The best way to settle the kids down and ensure they get a good nights kip is to only do calming things before bed time. 

Put out the mince pie and carrot for Father Christmas and the reindeer and then sit them down on the sofa with a blanket and watch a nice Christmas film with them. Make it something funny but soothing, Miracle on 34th Street for example. I can guarantee that when they are warm and snuggled up on the sofa with the film on gently in the background, they will soon doze off. Yes ok you'll have to carry them to bed but it's highly unlikely they will completely wake up when you do. Trust me it's a tried and tested method in my house.

What if i forget something?

LISTS LISTS LISTS !! I Can't emphasise this enough. Christmas is a big deal and there is a shit load of stuff that needs buying, making, cooking, wrapping etc, you're going to have a complete melt down if you don't organise yourself. When it gets to October, i sit down with a notebook and a pen and i write lists for everything. Food, presents, drinks, nibbles and the extra bits like cards, wrapping paper etc. 

DON'T make one list for everything because you will get seriously confused. If you write seperate lists for each individual priority and then tick them off as and when you buy them then you are on the straight and narrow and heading for an organised festive season. 

We always end up arguing on Christmas Day

Welcome to the real world. There isn't a single family out there that doesn't have some kind of row on Christmas day. But just because it's a special day, it doesn't mean it should be over exagerated because of the fact. If a row develops then stop it in it's tracks by seperating the people involved. Send one into the kitchen to help clean up and the other to lay the table. If all else fails, send them out for a walk so at least you don't have to listen to it and get yourself stressed out while you're peeling spuds.

  I'm always left doing all the cooking then all the tidying up!

Then do something about it! There are the chefs of the family who absolutely insist on cooking the Christmas dinner with absolutely no help whatsoever but that doesn't mean they want to tidy up aswell. The dinner is a massive part of the day that takes up a hell of a lot of time so why shouldn't you sit down and chill afterwards and let someone else clean up? Before the big day comes around, draw up a rota for the family of who is doing what. You prepare the dinner but afterwards, one person clears the dishes, another clears the glasses, another fills the dishwasher etc etc. Some of them won't like it but come on, you have done 99% of Christmas for the buggers, you deserve something back.
  
Unexpected guests showing up 

This happens all the time. Family and friends randomly appearing on your doorstep expecting you to be really happy to see them and thinking you should be aware of them turning up because it's Christmas. ( What a load of bollocks ). I hate people who turn up uninvited even when it's family but you have to accept that it happens and you have to be prepared. 

Unless their arrival is planned, you don't have to lay on a banquet in their honour. They have turned up without an invite and shouldn't expect a lavish 6 course meal waiting for them. My strict policy on uninvited guests is nibbles or nothing. Always keep a stash of peanuts, crisps, olives, cold meats and 10 minute oven platters for such occasions. Aslong as you have alcohol flowing and something in a bowl on the table, everyone will be happy. If guests come round expecting a full meal, tell them to book themselves in for next Christmas and sod off.

I hope these little dilemma solutions have given you a little helping hand for the festive season. And remember...

DON'T PANIC, IT'S ONLY ONE DAY!

K x

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