When you have swarms of family members descending on your home at Christmas, the key to surviving it is to have lots of activities on-hand that can be implemented at a moment’s notice. Plan different types of activities for various age ranges and interests, and remember people don’t have to be doing the same thing together all the time.
Here are some alternative ideas to make sure you survive and thrive this Christmas.
A quick win when you’re wondering how to entertain guests is to whip out a selection of board games. Have a few games for children, some universal games suitable for any age and some brain-flexing games for adults, such as Trivial Pursuit. Have a box of quiz questions to throw an impromptu quiz for the whole family, and make sure there’s a pack of cards on-hand too. For those who like a little quiet time, you could even set up a puzzle table for people to dip in and out of.
Christmas can induce a feeling of cabin fever after a while, and there’s nothing like blowing away the cobwebs with a brisk winter walk. Before everyone turns up for Christmas, download a few local walking routes from the National Trust website or The Ramblers website. When it’s time to get out of the house, you’ll be ready with some ideas of interesting places to go.
Buy a few extra Christmas gifts and hide them around the house along with riddles and clues to make your very own treasure hunt. You can tailor it to any age group and use it as a surprise slice of fun when energy is low. Or if you want to make it just a children’s treasure hunt, get some of the older children to design and plan it. They’ll have as much fun doing this as the little ones will have discovering the ‘treasure’.
Everyone’s going to have a drink at Christmas anyway, so why not make it into a fun focal point too? Set up a cocktail-making table for the adults and a mocktail-making table for the children. Supply a selection of different drinks, fruit and glass decorations and get everyone to make up their own cocktail and mocktail – including a name for it. Have a few prizes on-hand for the most inventive concoctions and innovative names.
Get a selection of Christmassy props, hats and clothing together in a corner of the room and invite people to dress up and do silly poses in front of a camera. It’s a way to energise the group when there’s a lull in the day, and you’ll be left with some fun Christmas photo mementoes post-Christmas too. Get a polaroid camera or mobile phone printer if you want to hang the photos on the wall as the festivities go on.
Remember that Christmas doesn’t have to be a flurry of activity all the time. There will be times when people just want to sit back and relax. So get some popcorn in, have a selection of films that you know everyone will enjoy and don’t be afraid to suggest some down-time in front of the TV.
Make sure Christmas is a time to look forward to with these tips and tricks for surviving the season!