Christmas has arrived. Just like that the calendar turns over to December and the list of things happening, to buy and do feels overwhelming. Below are my top tips for how to survive December as a working parent and also a helpful timetable for a Christmas day dinner in Cheshire. Keep reading and December need not be daunting.

Christmas survival tips

  1. Plan ahead and I mean from mid November to mid January.
  2. Plan work – agree time or book holiday to attend school performances, fairs etc.
  3. Plan play – plan ahead and agree the dates you are seeing and spending time with family. If people are being indecisive or unresponsive – you call it, let them know what works for you as a starter for ten to get the ball rolling.
  4. Let go of expectations – Christmas is about being together. Make time for the fun stuff, the quiet stuff, the together stuff – a movie day, a pyjamas-all-day day, playing board games. Schedule this stuff in and make sure it happens too.
  5. Say “no” – it’s your holiday too and you don’t have to be with others all the time nor do you have to say yes to every offer. Do what works for you and your family.
  6. Get outside and try to get out every day – even if Santa brought the PS4 an hour outside in the fresh air will do wonders for everyone’s spirits.
  7. Stay sober – the booze flows at every event but does a daily hangover really make the best of the festive fortnight? If you enjoy a tipple or two, remember you don’t have to drink at every get together, pick and choose when to drink and when to volunteer to be the designated driver.
  8. Eat well. By the time New Years Eve comes round I am often desperately craving green things to eat. The New Years Eve I felt the best was when I was disciplined enough to have a 48hour diet amnesty for Christmas and Boxing Day and then reverted back to normal consumption thereafter.
  9. Relax. Don’t let the insanity of Christmas get the better of you. If things don’t go the way you planned, make the best of it. Just change the plan or go with the flow.
  10. Reflect. It’s the end of another year. Try to use this time to reflect on all the things you have achieved and think about what you both as an individual and as a family unit want to achieve in the coming year. Talk with your kids for their input – it will help you see where you can improve and they will appreciate being asked. This might even turn into another new Christmas tradition!

Remember if no one wants to host this year, outsource for excellence and dine out on Christmas – everything tastes better when you haven’t had to shop for it, cook it yourself and there’s no washing up at the end!

Wishing you all a delightful December!

Christmas Infographic Mottram Hall