It goes without saying that this time of year can be stressful. If you’re hosting, it can be downright nightmarish – without a moment’s rest until the inevitable post-dinner slumber. The most important factor for a stress-free Christmas is planning but fear not, if you’re only just reading this now. Here are a few essential tips we feel will help you get the very best out of the holidays, and just in time, too.
Women, Take The Initiative!
Christmas can polarise opinion between the sexes, with one survey showing women to spend as much as eleven full days preparing for it, and an overwhelming majority (87 per cent) accusing men of being clueless about the hard work that’s needed. So, unfortunately, it seems the gender divide skews labour heavily towards the females on this occasion. Ladies, unless you can drill it into him, you’re probably better off taking the lead.
Extend The Feeling Of Home To Others
Part of the appeal of Christmas is to relax in a homely, comfortable environment. Very likely most of your guests will be immediate family members and friends who are liable to fall asleep before you’ve even had the chance to clear the table. You should provide plenty of places for them to do so, this includes guest rooms, couches, beds, armchairs, just about anywhere providing there’s an inviting blanket and a pillow at the ready.
Remind Them Why You’re All Here
Another great thing about Christmas is it’s an excuse to dig out the old board games, and to celebrate in ways that just aren’t typical at any other time of year. Make a Christmas playlist, and listen to all those classics you’ve heard a thousand times before amid the laughter. Give your house a festive makeover with brand new sets of Christmas decorations, lights, even a couple of trees from Taskers Online.
Be Ready For Unexpected Stayovers
Predictability goes out the window around Christmas. The guests might be snowed in, or they might’ve had one too many drinks and lost track of time. In any case, it’s best to prepare for any last-minute or unintended stayovers. This includes, if you have a spare room, preparing the bed and doing a bit of tidying up, or clearing away some of the clutter and making space for a fold out bed.
As the host, Christmas can be a wonderful opportunity to push yourself as a creative and entertaining force, but be careful not to get carried away. There is a tendency to strive for ‘perfection’ – perhaps because pop culture often carries Christmas along synonymously with ‘magic’, but this unrealistic ambition can lead to disaster.
Keep an eye on and manage your expenses, and plan and enact only what you can reasonably afford to do. Often the littlest things can be the most memorable, and have the greatest lasting impact. Remember the most important thing is to have a good time, and often simply being in one another’s company is enough to ensure just that.