Christmas. That most wonderful time of the year. Unless, of course, you heap loads of pressure on yourself, stress yourself out with all the Christmas activities you simply MUST do and then cry because you’ve burned the turkey. In our house? I’ve accepted that a family Christmas will always be perfectly imperfect. Someone will have a meltdown. Someone else will cry (probably me). Something (many things) will go wrong. And actually? That’s just the way I like it. So here’s my tips on how to prepare for, not to mention survive, the craziness of the festive season. This post is written in partnership with Andrex.
Accept your kids will not be irreparably damaged if they don’t do EVERY Christmas festivity going. Winter Wonderland. A trip to the Big Man himself (I’m talking Father Christmas, in case I’ve lost you, where your toddler will be more interested in stuff like figuring out what’s under FC’s coat). Ice skating. A carol concert. I tell you, social media has a lot to answer for at this time of year. Pictures of families ice skating beautifully. Chuckling on the laps of Father Christmas. Who ARE these people? Every time we’ve done ANY of these things, it’s ended in a) injury b) post traumatic stress disorder and c) bankruptcy. The key here is to be sensible and do stuff that is age appropriate and not let Facebook convince you otherwise.
Leave Christmas crafting and baking to the experts. I don’t do crafts, as you know. My baking is limited to a Vickie Sponge. But Christmas always brings out the optimism (amnesia) in me and, before I know it, I’m making a Christmas Tree out of toilet rolls or helping my kids decorate festive biscuits. Reindeer Roadkill anyone?And that’s why I say, ‘Step away from the pipe cleaners and edible baubles.’ You’re not Kirstie Allsopp and you won’t be having a handmade Christmas. The sooner you accept that, the better.
Check the timings on your Turkey. The first year Daddy Pig and I cooked Christmas dinner at home, we cooked the turkey for seven hours. Because we read the instructions wrong and it just seemed like that’s the sort of time you’d cook a big, old bird for. My mum likes her turkey moist. Well, this certainly fell off the bone. In less of a tender way and much more of a pencil shavings kind of way. Needless to say, we’ve actually eaten out every Christmas Day since. And when I suggested to my mum the other day that I host Christmas this year, I’m sure I saw her flinch and a look of horror cross her face.
Get out the best silver (and loo roll). If you are hosting Christmas dinner, making your table look nice can go a long way to making up for any turkey/brussel sprout emergencies. People are much more forgiving if there’s some nice cutlery on the table and posh crackers. The same goes for your bathroom. Now’s the time to ditch the value toilet roll you’ve been using all year because your kids insist on emptying one roll a day (each) and give your guests some comfort. And Andrex’s new Classic Clean toilet roll actually has ‘Andrex‘ printed on it, so you can leave your guests in no doubt as to how posh you really are. (Plus once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to face the value stuff again. Ouch.)
Finally. Remember what Christmas is really about. Yes, that old chestnut. Pardon the pun. But regardless of whether you believe in the other Big Man and his son, or not, Christmas is not about everything being perfect anyway. It’s about counting your blessings, spending time with your family (whilst arguing over board games, naturally) and just making the best of whatever you have. Because if the many events of 2016 have taught us anything, it’s that life is short, unpredictable and all we have is right now and each other. When you think about it like that, what more could you possibly want?
Good luck and enjoy the festive season, imperfectly, as I’ll certainly be doing. If you do want at least one thing to be perfect, then check out Andrex’s Classic Clean and get your bathroom ‘guest ready’ this Christmas. More of me over on Facebook and Instagram.