T’is a time to be Merry – WITH the family!

T’is a time to be Merry – WITH the family!

Family History, Tensions, Expectations, Nerves, Family Feuds, Ongoing bickering…  Christmas can be a difficult time especially if you are the one who is hosting the whole family this year. Our Team has put together some guidlines that can help making your Christmas  a very Merry Christmas 2017.


Back to Basics

  • HAVE A PLAN! Know what YOU want out of the celebrations & Ask your immediate family those living with you what they would like out of the celebrations and hash out a plan of action TOGETHER, you do not need to do this on your own.
  • Get the kids and others living in the home involved with making decorations etc.
  • Keep it simple – less is more avoid extravagant new things to impress your “Clan” with.
  • Good old traditions that everyone knows might work really well across the generations.
  • Do things that work best for YOU (be honest) – last year’s bring and share might have been amazing for your sister-in- law, but it might not be something you enjoy at all as a host.
  • Prepare as much as you can well in advance.
  • Give yourself permission to ask for help – There are people in your family who would love to help. It is a great way to involve newcomers to the family.

Communicate, Communicate,


  • Communicate the events of the day with the guests – in different ways WhatsApp, paper note, personal conversation not everyone like WhatsApp or takes a simple verbal discussion seriously.
  • Try not to assume e.g. even in close families some things might just NOT be OBVIOUS.
  • Put things in place that will support you (e.g. invite your best friend or balance, plan for time on your own, etc.)


  • Pick your battles… remember what the aim of YOUR celebrations is.
  • Avoid topics that might be contentious – Christmas celebration is not the time to reveal family secrets. (remember what you and your immediate family want out of this)
  • Know that you are not responsible for your family’s behavior.
  • Acceptance of the others – They are who they are even at Christmas


  • Again, communication and what works for you
  • Secret Santa, wish lists, or a topic for the gifts might be a good way to navigate the gifts.
  • It is always a good plan to limit the price of the gifts.


  • Dress up theme e.g. Christmas in New York or Dessert Christmas, Red-carpet Christmas – Casual Christmas, Jesus’ Birth, Starry night etc.
  • Nativity play organized by some of the kids
  • Traditional/cultural games get everyone going eventually (three-legged race, spoon and egg, stick fighting competition, Charades, treasure hunt etc. Touch rugby, goal shooting soccer, bat and ball competition including granny)
  • Board games
  • Intergenerational story telling between courses– could be prompted by some prepared questions in a jar
  • Rotating seating after each course
  • Oldest to youngest get a chance to serve and clear the dishes.


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