So take time now to get the conversation started about where Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner will be held. Who will be there? What to bring? How does that work in with everyone’s extended family?
Then of course Christmas planning has to consider some family issues (or problems) like Uncle George’s drinking problem. Maybe have a brunch rather than a dinner where fresh juice and tea and coffee and the drinks on the menu. If one of your relatives is negative, perhaps this year give everyone a card that has a conversation starter on it. Making sure the conversation starters are about happy, fun, exciting or funny things. For example, “your favourite holiday destination”, “where you dream of going in the world”, “A funny thing happened on the way to…”
Take into account the needs of small children who may need naps and an early bedtime. Make sure the events you are attending are appropriate for their needs.
If Christmas lunch or dinner is at someone’s house, how can you support and help? Divide up the meals so that everyone can bring something. Entrée, main, veggies, salad’s, bread, dessert, drinks. The person whose house it is at has to clean the house, set the table, manage the meal, clean up and clear up. That is a load of work without even cooking anything. Make it as simple as possible.
I know plenty of families who hold their Christmas Day the weekend before Christmas, Christmas Eve or on Boxing Day. Be flexible so that it is about the people who you are with rather than just “the day”.
Something else to think about at this time of year is whether you know anyone who might be alone at Christmas and can you visit them or invite them along to share Christmas with your family.
It is important to remember that what Christmas may mean to you, it may mean something completely different to someone else, so be careful and sensitive to people’s needs.
It is a time of enjoyment and celebration and with planning it can be just that. Planning is the key.