Photo via Brett Sayles

Christmas is always a magical time with all the lights and decorations going up throughout the season. Every year it seems that they go up earlier and earlier but perhaps that’s just in anticipation of all the fun the season has in store. Unfortunately, one of the things we tend to put off until the very last minute is planning that Christmas party for the family – you know the one expected of you every year as is the tradition? This year, let’s make that a whole lot less stressful for you. Here are some tips on a stress-free way to get all that planning done so you can enjoy the party yourself this time around.

A Little Help from Your Friends

No, we aren’t referring to one of the few songs Ringo Starr of Beatle fame ever sang. What you can do is get everyone involved in the planning and have fun doing so! Why not get together with other mums to see what they suggest this year? Meet at a local pub for a glass of wine and spirits are likely to liven up a bit! However, you might want to limit that wine to a glass each or you might end up with suggestions no one in their right mind would attempt!

That said, you should also include the kids in the planning. No, you don’t need to bring them to the pub but maybe during an after-school snack whilst sitting around the table. Ask them what would make that family Christmas party fun for them. There’s no reason not to include a few of their suggestions as well. After all, the kids ARE the family to you. They are what the Christmas holidays are all about, so do get their ideas as well.

Don’t Forget Those New Additions to the Family!

Sometimes there are new additions to the family that weren’t there for previous family holidays. Perhaps a son or daughter has a new spouse and maybe you’ve taken in foster children at some point during the year having learned from the website that there are kids in your community who need a family like yours. Just because you have family traditions doesn’t mean that you can’t modify them to some extent if need be.

Perhaps you’ve always seated everyone around a large dining room table, but this year there just isn’t room. You don’t want to separate the kids because somehow, they always feel left out. Then with the addition of foster kids you’ve brought into the fold, you especially want them to feel like the important part of the family they really are.

Maybe you should plan a buffet style dinner this year so that everyone can fix a plate and wander to a seat where they feel comfortable. While you don’t often let the kids eat in the living room, you might want to make an exception this year. It is Christmas after all!

Photo by Brigitte Tohm

Remember the Reason for the Season

No matter what ethnic or religious origins people come from, Christmas is celebrated universally as a time of family, friends, love, and giving. You don’t need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas and you don’t need to believe in Father Christmas either! What you need is a whole lot of love and you do have that to give.

This year let’s focus less on things like a gourmet meal and seating arrangements. Let’s make it a time of gathering where everyone has a special place in the family from the oldest to newest members sharing a day of family and friends. Get those suggestions and a bit of help and this may be the first year ever when Christmas felt like Christmas.