Christmas can be a hectic time for us all, but what is it like for those with larger families? Our Gardening and Arts & Culture Editor Mandi Morrison is mum to a large family and here she shares her best tips for coping with Christmas!
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Ever since we started having children, I told extended family members that we would not be moving from our house on Christmas Day and if they wanted to see us they would have to visit! This worked well in the beginning, but fast forward to nine people in our household before you count any other visiting guests and Christmas becomes chaotic! So here are my best tips for dealing with a full house at Christmas.
If there are lots of excitable children, ensure you take them out in the fresh air on Christmas Eve. It stops the adults going stir crazy and it may tire them out a little bit to ensure they are asleep before 3am (although I can’t promise you that!)
We have a tradition of a tree present when we return from our walk, and that usually consists of a DVD and pyjamas for all. After dinner we all get into our new pyjamas to watch a movie followed by leaving out treats for Santa and his reindeers then off to bed. The routine helps to settle everyone down in preparation for bed.
Ensure you make a note of each child’s presents so they all have roughly the same amount of gifts to open.
Along with that list, write down where you have stashed everything. I ‘may’ have discovered some presents just before New Years Eve on more than one occasion!
If you have older children that would like games for their consoles, ensure they all have something else to occupy them whilst they wait for their turn to use the console. There is nothing worse than all 5 children queuing to have a go on the PS4!
If you have a tradition of a stocking on the end of the children’s bed, use a pair of football or rugby socks that come in pairs for your stocking, so you can fill one stocking whilst they fall asleep (which can take hours) then simply make the switch from empty sock to full one when they eventually drop off!
If you have lots to cater for, cook your turkey on Christmas Eve – it will make the house smell amazing, and you have a full day to ensure it is cooked. Just make sure you have enough room in the fridge to store it overnight!
Never give an exact time that dinner will be served, give an approximate – this way you have some breathing space!
I love Christmas – all the noise and the chaos. I hope that my tips will give you a little bit of help if you are having a large family get together. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
How do you handle a full house at Christmas? Share any tips in the comments!
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