Surviving Christmas Dinner

It's Christmas time and it's a time for joy and spreading cheer and enjoying time with family and friends.  Well, at least that's how it's supposed to be.  But it can also be an extremely stressful time, trying to make everything perfect for that giant family gathering, shopping for gifts and just trying to keep everyone in the holiday spirit.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus there's always something that ends up getting in the way of your holiday cheer.  Maybe it's the cousin that has a bit too much to drink, or the disapproving in-laws or the weird uncle who always makes a scene.  Everyone has got the same things to contend with during the festivities.

So here's a few tips to help make it through the next few days with a smile on your face and joy in your heart!

5 Tips to Surviving Christmas Dinner
  1. Have a Game Plan - whether it's trying to get the food done or wrangling unruly relatives, make sure you have a plan on how to tackle these challenges.  Make sure your homestead is all on the same page and delegate tasks to each family member so you're not the only one trying to put out fires.
  2. Smile - no matter what, keep a smile on your face.  It's contagious! So even if you over cook the bird or someone spills wine on the carpet, keep those pearly white shining.  In the words of Bobby McFerrin "Don't worry, be happy!"
  3. Get Guests Involved - got a passive-aggressive Mother-in-Law or judgemental sibling?  Try involving them in the preparations.  Nothing shuts down those snooty stares or backhanded compliments faster than having them give you a hand.  Let those naysayers help with the gravy or share their opinion on seasoning.  Maybe all they wanted is to be included and they'll be less likely to complain later if they were involved in the first place.
  4. Don't Take Yourself too Seriously - try to enjoy the day, afternoon or evening.  Have a glass of wine (or 2) and loosen up.  We are all guilty of over thinking and reading too much into things.  So maybe your Mother didn't mean anything by that comment and maybe there wasn't a tone coming from your cousin?  And don't forget to laugh!
  5. Normal is Boring - everyone has unique and interesting guests that they are required to have for dinner.  So embrace those colourful characters!  Maybe stop and listen to your weird Uncle's stories and laugh at you Grandpa's inappropriate jokes.  After all, it's one day a year and really, it wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't have some great stories to tell your friends!
Feliz Navidad,
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photo credit: dane brian via photopin cc

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