How to Survive Christmas with Your Family
We get it – surviving a whole 12 hours with your family is hard enough, let alone on Christmas Day when you’re supposed be full of cheer, laughter and enthusiasm. Along with having to keep check of the turkey to make sure it doesn’t disintegrate in the same style as National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, and having to make up political discussion with your in-laws about topics that you don’t really care too much about or completely disagree on, Christmas can be surprisingly stressful. To put your nerves at ease for the big day that’s coming all too soon for some, at Wink Bingo, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to survive Christmas with your family this year!
Coping With StressWhile the prolonged festive period is supposed to be a time for getting together, enjoying each other’s company and exchanging gifts, it can also be the most stressful time of year despite your conscious efforts to try and have a good time. From the dreaded Mother-In-Law to hosting the perfect Christmas dinner complete with a show-stopping Turkey, sausage, sage and onion stuffing and of course the Christmas pudding, putting on a good show can be more than a little daunting.
In order to cope with stress this Christmas we suggest rigorous – early! - planning, learning to say no and sticking to a budget before you go food shopping and become gift-buying happy. The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Traditions and rituals change, and as children grow older they often have their own events to attend. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out.
You can find new ways to celebrate as a whole, even if it isn’t on December 25th. To eliminate the stress of Christmas dinner for a fuss-free dining experience prepare as much as you can ahead of the big day and cheat your way to the perfect Christmas spread! You don’t have to roll your pigs-in-blankets yourself, nor do you have to prepare your own parsnips (frozen Aunt Bessie’s are just as good).
Prepare For the WorstWhile this may not be what you should be thinking about over the Christmas period, preparing for the worst can really help to ensure that you are able to tackle anything that Christmas Day might throw at you. Even if you’ve put in place a number of ‘not to talk about the following…’ guidelines for your family Christmas meal, preparing for the worst can really help to ensure that you know exactly how to handle any situation. Whether your cat’s dug into the Turkey while you’ve left it on the table to cool, or your partner and mother-in-law have started rowing about their different political views, if you’re prepared, you will always know how to cool-down the atmosphere no matter how heated it gets.
Join In the FestivitiesWhile you might prefer to slave over the stove all day boiling your Brussel sprouts to avoid awkward conversations, family rivalry and discreet competition about who bought who the best present, try as best you can to join in the festivities. After all, it’s your day too, and you certainly shouldn’t miss out on the ‘fun’! Play your favourite Christmas song hit-list, whack up the volume and prance around to make the most of the day. Despite the stress of traveling, seeing ‘certain’ relatives and having to be nice to others (it’s Christmas!), don’t be a Scrooge.
Embrace row after row of twinkling fairy-lights instead and the Christmas songs you’ve heard since the beginning of November - particularly if you work in retail!
Start Your Grandparents Off On a StoryNo, we’re not winding you up. If you’re really losing the plot with your family this Christmas, why not start your grandparents off on a long-winded story that is certain to go on for hours. Need some help with topics? Try asking them what happened ‘during the war’ (absolutely any of them!), how much better the community spirit, and everything else, was back in their day and finally, how the internet is ruining the world. That’ll kill a few hours, and you don’t have to engage in the conversation either!
Fun DistractionsMaking sure everyone is happy at Christmas is more than stressful. After forced conversations at the dinner table, fake laughter and the exchange of presents everyone might be twiddling their thumbs. In order to have fun with the family this Christmas, why not turn to technology and download a few apps on your phone or tablet. After all, who doesn’t enjoy seeing their relatives face superimposed onto an Elf? You can secretly screenshot it and hold it against them for years to come!
Apps such as Elf Yourself, A Call From Santa!, Christmas Pics Quiz Game and Heads Up! guarantee hours of family fun – no matter how old you are. When the children go to bed, why not make the most of the peace and quiet and play a game of online bingo to relax - and maybe even become a winner!
Finally, Christmas day is over, but when you take a look back after the entertainment has died down and everybody is shuffling off to bed, you’ll discover that your family meet-up wasn’t quite as bad after all. There’s plenty to enjoy at Christmas, and embracing the love of your family and the twinkling fairy lights truly isn’t all doom and gloom. There’s a reason it’s called Merry Christmas!