Christmas is fantastic. I loved it anyway , but when you’re a parent it takes on a whole new level of awesomeness. It goes from being amazing to bloody brilliant!The problem is everyone wants to be round the kids for Christmas.Therefore you might end up having to spend the special day with pain in the arse in laws , annoying siblings or in my case for many years my child’s other parent !
Having people you’d rather not over for Christmas dinner or having to go to other peoples houses doesn’t have to put a downer on Christmas though.
I’m not claiming to be an expert , but I’ve spent the past 15 years doing one or the other so I have picked up a few handy hints along the way..let me share!
* The main thing is to avoid conflict.At all costs. This may mean restraining from pouring a whole gravy boat over the person who has said ‘Is this turkey a bit dry?’ Or it may mean spending the couple of hours with a fixed smile when an elder relative comments on how spoilt the kids are and in their day you got an apple and orange and were grateful! Whatever it takes (even if that is hiding in the larder with a bottle of Prosecco and a straw)
* Which leads to the next point. If you’re going to have a drink , just have a couple (until your unwanted guests are gone or you’ve left whoevers house you are at anyway) My motto is drink enough to render you mellow not enough to loosen your tongue. Previously I’ve had a glass whilst I
hide in the kitchen whilst someone else puts toys together lovingly cook a feast of a meal. Then obviously a glass over lunch. At this point I would point out to my guest that I would get him a drink but he has to drive home doesn’t he? (code for you are NOT staying over) Post lunch gentle nudges are necessary to get your visitor to leave. I like to use “ooo Eastenders is on in a bit!!” Now I don’t always watch soaps over Christmas , but I am not going to surrender THAT get of jail free card!..and with a kiss on the cheek and a Merry Christmas they are gone and you can open the good wine.
*Keep cool with the ‘It’s all about the kids’ mantra .Make sure at the times you feel a bit niggled just look for the kids? Are they smiling? Course they are! Grandma / uncle /cousins/daddy may annoy the hell out of you but they’re up there in the children’s top 5 people. So as long as they are having fun everything is fine. Every year before my children go to bed on Christmas Day they declare it The Best Christmas Ever. That will do for me.
*If you’re having to go to someone else’s house because ‘that’s what we ALWAYS do’ Be prepared. This is usually a mother in law one. She’s insistent that she has hosted Christmas since it began. If pushed she may declare that Jesus was actually born in the shed at the end of her garden. Anything to ensure her family are at her bosom for Christmas dinner. This is likely the kind of mother I’m going to become when the kids are older , so I do get the woman! Anyway if you are going to someone else’s house. Prepare yourself for the fact they may do Christmas differently .This can range from the relatively minor of only getting one roast potato each with dinner (hit me with half a dozen or don’t bother. Do not tease me with one!) to the more serious of insisting on a walk after lunch. Only place I want to walk to on Christmas day is the telly with a glass of wine in one hand and a selection box in the other.
Have a lovely , fun filled time whatever you end up doing . Let’s face it , annoying relatives (even other people’s) are as much a Christmas tradition as turkey!!
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