Even the best laid plans for Christmas may not always pay off, especially when it comes to the guest list. An intimate festive period with just your partner can quickly turn into the parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews descending. Before you know it, you’ve gone from four to sixteen, and the house hasn’t got any bigger!
Although you can feel flattered that so many members of your family want to sample your cooking, this will mean that you need to do some serious festive prep to get the house ready for the influx of visitors.
So, here’s a selection of tips to get Christmas Day-ready for the rabble…
Hide the Clutter!
For the day or two that you’ll have guests with you, you’ll need to hide away all the usual bits and pieces filling your living areas. That means tidying away toys and paperwork, as well as finding all the furniture that can serve as a seat – you’ve got lots of bums to find a comfy space for!
If you have a cupboard going spare, use this to store your non-essentials. A loft space could also provide some extra storage space too – be sure to keep the items together in clearly marked boxes (or clear ones) so you can find them again easily once normal service resumes.
Under bed storage is a winner too, so don’t be shy in using every available inch under your own bed as well as the children’s beds. The Range has a great selection of storage ideas from plastic storage boxes, to baskets and drawers.
As you may have a modest-sized home, you will need to maximise every inch of space you have, to get everyone in and feeling comfortable. Seating arrangements for the big day can be difficult to arrange, especially last minute, but no one will be bothered about having matching seats. Make do with what you have by using office chairs, dressing table seats and even garden furniture!
Having the option to open up your living areas into one large space is also very handy, by using bifold doors, you can turn the living room/dining room or dining room/kitchen into an open plan area to fit everyone in.
Keeping Everyone Entertained
One of the most underrated Christmas Day activities is a long, group stroll in the afternoon. This is ideal for walking off the huge dinner you have consumed, as well as showing your guests more of the area you live in. This is especially handy for ‘killing two birds with one stone’ if you have a dog that needs walking too.
Using the dinner table again, make use of all the board games you have with a few rounds of Monopoly, Scrabble, Articulate or even silly games such as Pie Face. This will fill a couple of hours of the big day and will keep energy levels high (staving off a carb coma).
Festive films are also a must, with timeless classics and modern masterpieces to choose from including:
- A Wonderful Life
- Santa Claus the Movie
- Home Alone
- Jingle All the Way
- Miracle On 34th Street
- The Snowman
As you have many members of your family with you, why not take this opportunity to wander down memory lane? Get out your box full of family photographs and sit and reminisce about dodgy times in fashion, 70s moustaches and blue rinses, as well as adorable baby photos. You could also take this time to sort through all your photographs to make a scrapbook.
Most of us will be using every spare room we have to accommodate our own family, so fitting in some extra overnight guests will require a little organisation. Gather all the sleeping bags together and spare bedding and start the allocation of sleeping spaces. The children can squeeze in with you to leave their single beds up for grabs, sofa beds will need to be pulled out and camp beds will need to be erected.
With a bit of a shuffle round, you should be able to accommodate everyone. Plus, it will give a bit of a sleepover feel to your house and a sense of togetherness for the festive holidays.
Be sure to have plenty of breakfast treats in mind for the Boxing Day morning as you’ll have a house full of ravenous guests. Jamie Oliver has a yummy array of festive breakfast/brunch ideas including black pudding, poached eggs and soldiers, Boxing Day quesadillas and Christmas kedgeree breakfast tarts. Delicious!
How many have you got coming for Christmas day this year?