Christmas time can be lovely, yet it can be a stressful time for all of us, especially the party organisers.
Here are some tips to help you ease out the stress and throw yourself fully into the joy of Christmas
1. Set a budget for your Christmas family party. Work out how much you are going to spend on the decorations, gifts, food and drinks, and try to stick to the budget. Make a list of people that you need to buy for and what you are going to buy for them.
2. Restrict the number of guests. You may make it clear that this is a family only occasion, to prevent the guests bringing extra people you may not know. If you want to have friends over for a holiday party, plan a separate one for the friends.
3. Set a time period for your Christmas party. Give your family members a specific date, starting and ending times, so that they know not to overstay their welcome.
4. Make things simple. Planning an ‘extravagant’ party may end up with you not being able to focus on enjoying yourself, which will add stress to entertaining the family, cooking and many other things. You may consider cooking dishes that are easy to prepare ahead of the time. Or you can just prepare the main course and ask the guests to bring side dishes. A potluck party can actually save you lots of hassle dealing with all the preparation.
5. Avoid any personal family issues. Remember this is suppose to be a festive and lighthearted occasion, so put any ill feelings behind. Attempting to use your Christmas party to ‘solve’ issues may dampen the celebratory spirit and make the gathering embarrassing for all the attendees.
6. Be careful not to serve too much alcohol to adult family members, otherwise some of them may indulge too much and ruin the atmosphere.
7. Plan party games that both adult and children can participate in. Games can always add joy to light up the party spirit. Try to avoid the games that are too competitive.
8. Have a family gift exchange time. Each family member can bring a gift to the party; draw a name tag of another family member out of a hat and give away the gift. Set a budget limit to the gifts to avoid any competition, conflict or embarrassment.
9. If you start to feel panicky while preparing, then slow down your breathing. Why not take a relaxing bath with some fragrant candles and light music playing in the background.
10. While busy with preparing and hosting the party, don’t forget it is a party that you deserve to enjoy as well! So sip on some drinks after the meal, sit back and enjoy with your folks!