Christmas is always a great time of the year to have a family get-together, but there can be no doubt that to make it a memorable day, you need to do much more than simply manage to get a group of relatives to inhabit the same room for a day.
The first key point is to ensure that everyone’s own tastes and needs are catered for. This is partly an issue when buying Christmas presents, where you may already know what they like, but could benefit from consulting with others. This way, you can avoid duplicating gifts such as two people buying the same person the latest book by their favourite author. It also matters when it comes to food. Make sure when preparing a big Christmas feast that you know if anyone has developed any food allergies, or indeed if there are any new dietary requirements, such as your teenage cousin deciding to go vegetarian.
The plans for the day should also take into account routines. For example, if you are hosting on Christmas Day and tend not to watch TV programmes like the Queen’s Speech but your family do, it may be wise to accommodate this. After all, it is only on for few minutes, so be flexible.
Also, try not to be too rigid about what everyone is doing. For example, if it is a white Christmas you may want to head outside and doubtless any children present certainly will, but others may prefer to stay indoors and enjoy the warmth. Equally, don’t try to rope everyone into the same activities all day. The time for everyone being together is at the dinner table and when presents are handed out. Trying to get the youngsters playing games that are for adults when they would rather be playing with their new toys is inadvisable. Let the kids use a separate room to play in later in the day.
Finally, be sure to make certain the home is warm and welcoming. That means ensuring the heating is turned up nicely (it can always go off later when the crowded house gets hot) and that everywhere is beautifully decorated to look welcoming and cheery – and guarantee a great family Christmas.