Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful. There is so much to think about from presents, to the Christmas dinner, to keeping the little ones happy while the adults are entertained at the same time. Getting yourself a little bit more organised this year should help Christmas to run more smoothly. So, without further ado, here are useful some tips and tricks to help you out!
1. Plan the Day
Getting a Christmas plan together is crucial for helping the day to run swimmingly. Get yourself a notebook or make use of the notes section on your phone and write down at least a vague timetable for the day. Arguably the most important thing to plan is what time Christmas dinner will be cooked for, and when the cooking needs to begin. If there are any television programmes that everyone wants to watch, then try to work the mealtime around these to avoid any disappointment, or alternatively decide to record and watch it later. Writing a Christmas timetable down may sound silly, but it should prevent you from getting too distracted on the big day, which is all too easily done!
2. Have Plenty of Entertainment for the Kids
Keeping the children entertained isn’t always easy, especially when the rest of the family want to watch something on the television which isn’t exactly what they want to watch. Having a handful of fun but simple games and activities for them to play throughout the day will probably come in handy. Crafts, colouring, and card games like snap are great for little ones. There are also many bingo games that would be perfect for the big day, and even some for all of December. There are now Christmas bingo advent calendars which can easily be downloaded online, so you have the option of playing via your phone or tablet, or you can opt to print physical copies out, which is advisably better for kids. To play, you simply choose one of the festive prompts for each day of advent. These can include scenarios such as “play your favourite Michael Bublé Christmas Song”, or “take a walk around the neighbourhood and look at all the Christmas lights”. Once you have completed the prompt, you can check it off your bingo card, with the aim of the game being to check all 25 boxes off by Christmas day. This Christmas version of bingo is super fun for adults too, but it is definitely a good way to keep the kids entertained over the festive period and on Christmas day itself.
3. Prep as Much of the Meal Beforehand as Possible
Cooking the Christmas dinner can take up a large chunk of the day, so prep as much the night before as you can to save time on the 25th. All the vegetables can be peeled beforehand, some extra sides, such as cauliflower cheese, can be premade, and the table can be ready set. To prevent peeled potatoes from browning, simply store them in cold water overnight, and the same goes for peeled veggies if you want to keep them looking and tasting fresher.
4. Share Out the Workload
If you are hosting, then ask friends and relatives to offer a helping hand. Generally, guests like to be of assistance and enjoy feeling involved. With an extra set of hands or two, any jobs that need doing shouldn’t take too long at all, and it saves one person from carrying all the pressure. Ask guests to bring a desert or pudding along, or any extra nibbles that you wouldn’t otherwise have time to prepare.
5. Take Toys Out of Their Packaging
Prior to wrapping up gifts for the children in your family, you may want to consider taking any toys out of their packaging. Often these days, kids’ toys are packaged in difficult to open boxes and plastic, and sometimes they are even wired into the boxes themselves, making them near impossible for any little one to open on their own. Nippers always want to play with their toys right away, so by wrapping only the toy, they can do just that, without you first having to sit and carefully unbox it all on the day. Another great tip is to pop batteries into toys that need them before gifting, to avoid any additional faffing on Christmas.
These tips and tricks should hopefully make your Christmas day run better than last year. Preparation is, without a doubt, key to making your day with more ease – from shortening the time it takes to cook your Christmas meal, to keeping the kids happy and not getting bogged down with all the work and pressure that all too often comes with Christmas.