Christmas Day is one of those wonderful – yet slightly stressful – days of the year. As well as scouting out the perfect turkey or trying to come up with original, thoughtful gifts (we’d recommend our Christmas gift vouchers if you’re stuck for ideas!), there’s the small matter of hosting – a responsibility that a fair few people shy away from.
In fact, a recent campaign carried out by retailer Next found that in December 2018, 110 people Googled the phrase “how to tell family you’re not hosting Christmas” – an increase of 100% from the year before.
Aside from all things dinner-related like portion sizes, setting the table and making sure everybody’s got enough to eat, there’s also the small matter of entertaining the children – who, by about midday, are likely to be hyped up on sugar and presents.
We’ve put together a couple of tips to help your Christmas Day run smoothly.
Tip 1: Decide when to open presents
Present etiquette can be hard to get right. Do you open in the morning or the afternoon? Pre-dinner or post-dinner? What if you’ve already opened your gifts but your guests and their children haven’t?
To avoid any unnecessary tears and restlessness on the part of the little ones, establish when gift-giving will take place ahead of the big day. That way, you’re all aligned and each child can open his/her presents at the same time as the others.
If you’re stuck for gifting ideas, we’d recommend going for an experience rather than a product or toy that’ll likely be tossed to the side in a couple of years. Our gift vouchers allow entry into the Diggerland adventure park with access to all rides and drives for the day – perfect for adults and children alike and a great way to encourage your kids to get out and about.
Tip 2: Stagger sugar consumption throughout the day
Christmas Day is a day of food, food, food (a lot of which is high in sugar!) which is why it’s a good idea to try and stagger your children’s sugar consumption throughout the day to avoid them becoming too hyper too soon.
Try and shift their focus to something other than what they’re putting in their mouths – for example, by setting up an arts and crafts corner. There are plenty of printable materials available online and we recommend a Christmas card-related activity – great for any little ones that have forgotten to write mummy and daddy a card.
Tip 3: Set up activity stations
Although arts and crafts is a great way to fuel children’s creativity, it may be that some of your tinier guests are keener on getting out and about and moving around.
Try and schedule periods throughout the day when some of the adults can go for a wander and take the kids (those who want to go) with them. If you’re hosting and taking charge of the cooking, you might appreciate some of your guests disappearing for a little while, leaving you in peace to get on with dinner prep or clearing up.
Similarly, some of the children might feel like watching a Christmas film. Set up a movie viewing area in the living room for those that feel like cuddling up and watching something.
By having lots of different activity stations, restlessness and possible tantrums become less likely.
Tip 4: Consider investing in a kids’ table
Christmas Day is as much about the adults as it is about the children – and we know that many mums and dads yearn for a little bit of alone time.
To give the grown-ups some time to catch up, consider making one part of the dinner table specifically for the kids. Or, invest in a smaller, separate table if you have the space.
We hope we’ve given you some useful tips for hosting Christmas Day with family. Diggerland opens again in February (you can see the opening times here) – why not give the gift of an experience this Christmas and buy your family some of our gift vouchers?