Last-minute tips for a calm Christmas
- Turn off your phone, or just let it go to voicemail. Call people back when it's convenient for you.
Write a food preparation schedule for Christmas Day. Be as detailed as you can – write down how long each dish takes to make (including any marinating/refrigerating/baking time) and figure out which order to make your dishes in. Try to pick a dessert you can make well ahead of time that can sit in the fridge for a day if necessary.
Create a playlist for Christmas lunch so you can enjoy the day Be it the Michael Buble Christmas album or the Mariah Carey Christmas album, it's called being festive, and there's no judgment here!
Fill your ice tray This might sound a bit obvious, but you don't want to be caught short. If you’re expecting a lot of people, grab a few extra bags of ice from the petrol station.
- Keep your family's routine, sticking to the usual eat/sleep schedule as much as you can. Even if you have heaps of errands to run, keep their mealtimes and naptimes the same, and always keep their bedtime routine consistent. This will help stave off tantrums of the overtired, overstimulated nature.
- Take the kids/dogs for a nice long walk the day before, or spend some time playing solely with them. That one-on-one attention will hopefully pay off when you need to get a few things done by yourself.
- Be satisfied with 'good enough'. Just do it!
- Use your baby as an excuse "Oh, it's baby's naptime - we'd better get going!" is an awesome way to bow out of events when you're really not comfortable saying no.
- Check out for a bit Put down the wrapping paper and blob out in front of the TV, take a walk, or read a story to your little one. Sometimes all you need is to do something completely unrelated in order to come back to the task at hand with a fresh attitude.
- Hold a post-mortem After the insanity of the silly season is over, sit down and make a list of what you loved and disliked about it. Make a plan for what is really important and how you can avoid feeling stressed out next year.