So the big day is nearly upon us and for most Parents I know that this joy-filled day can become the most stressful day of the year, so here are my tips for the day.
1. Decide now what you want from the day, how do you want the day to go.
Make a list of what you want to happen and how you want to feel. If you need help with this, imagine the day over with and ask yourself what three things happened today that you loved. How did you feel today, what three feelings did you experience? Now you have that, ask yourself how you can ensure you get these things. For example, I want Christmas Day to be relaxing, free and a giggle. So I make sure everyone knows that. The first thing I do is yoga, come what may, the day does not start until that is finished. People know that I have no strict schedule, dinner is ready whenever it is ready. I also restrict TV so we can do fun things together like play Outburst etc., etc. If all these things happen I am a happy bunny.
Ok, so now you know what you want it is time to discuss this with the family. Call a meeting or talk to them all individually, ask them what three things they want, gather up all the information from every family member and then see how their needs and your needs can be met. Sit down and tell, discuss with them how you think Christmas Day can work for you all and be open to suggestions and feedback.
3. Allocate Roles
Once you know how you want Christmas to go, allocate roles and jobs to family members. Let them know in advance what they will be responsible for and get agreements from them. Given a choice, your teenager may want to sit on the settee all day and drink and eat things that they are previously not allowed to; let them know that as a member of the family this is what they are responsible for.
4. Allocate some Me Time
I know this may sound impossible but it only has to be for ten minutes. See where in the day you can get some time alone and to yourself, even if you just lock yourself in the bathroom! Decide, know when and where you are going to do this, we all need to collect our thoughts and be alone just for a few minutes. Respect that other family members may need this too so when your teenagers storms off to their room, don’t make them wrong, accept that this is their Me Time and just ask them when you can expect to see them downstairs again.
5. Have Fun
I cannot say this enough, make this a fun day. Over breakfast ask everyone what fun thing they would like to do today, tell them what you want to do. Make someone the fun manager; give them the responsibility for ensuring you do all the things that everyone wants to. In our house we have a fun bowl and we each put in a fun thing we want to do. At intervals throughout the day the fun manager picks one out and we all do it. You do not have to be as regimented as that, but give fun a go. If you cannot make a fool of yourself at Christmas, when can you?
Don’t get so uptight about things, let Christmas just happen – remember what this is all really about, the celebration of life, so go on, celebrate!