11th Blog Of Christmas: How To Accommodate Everyone On Christmas
The house is filled to the rafters with happy, laughing family members and friends. While your full home may be just what you were hoping for, it can still present challenges to overcome. Figuring out how to accommodate everyone with their differing needs and wants is a task you may be wondering about this holiday season.
What do to (and which way is up, again?)
Think about logistical challenges before they occur. This way, you can get your wheels turning about the solutions to situations you may encounter. Plus, you can do it while you’re feeling fresh. As a result, you may feel more confident and excited about spending time with family and friends. From how to host the children to how many people you can allow in the kitchen at any one time, let’s dive into how to accommodate everyone.
Keeping the kids in mind
As you plan your festivities, don’t forget the little people. Visiting and parties can be a challenging time for young ones. Sometimes, they’re in an unfamiliar environment. Plus, they may be off their normal schedules (naptime, anyone?). Remember to keep their needs in mind.
If little children will be part of the group, consider setting up a special place for them to play. Of course, you may want to keep it nearby so that they’ll have some adult supervision while entertaining themselves. Stock it with toys and games that are age-appropriate.
If you don’t have kids of your own, and you’re wondering what kids are interested in, search the internet for toy and game ideas. Additionally, ask friends who have kids of their own what some winning entertainment items would be.
Combat cabin fever
Also, keep in mind that kids may need some time and a place to run off their energy. While you and the other adults may be perfectly content to relax in the warm house, the kids may have energy to spare. Some time to run around outside or an active game inside might help out.
Plus, make sure you’re clear about what isn’t and isn’t allowed in your mobile. For instance, if running around isn’t safe because of the close quarters, be sure you let the kids know this.
Let’s say one of the couples attending recently added to their family. You can’t wait to meet the little one. And you’re determined to help the parents feel as comfortable as possible while they’re here. Set aside a spot in the house (such as a bedroom or office) where they can retreat if the baby is fussy or hungry. Let them know what the plan is ahead of time if possible so they’ll know you’ve planned to have a quiet place available for them.
Moreover, new parents aren’t the only ones who might need a little quiet from time to time. If you’ll be entertaining elderly friends or relatives, keep in mind they may need some space to take a break, too. Setting aside a bedroom with a relaxing place to sit in addition to the usual bed could be a great option. Older people may not be used to the hustle and bustle of a full house, so provide the opportunity for them to get refreshed by taking a breather.
Of course, we know the saying “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup.” While cooking assistance can be great, it can also be a bit distracting at times. And on top of cooking assistants, sometimes the kitchen also gets filled up with people socializing. Make sure you leave your cooks adequate space to do their jobs relatively uninterrupted this year. That is, if they prefer it that way – check beforehand to determine cooks’ preferences.
Once you know the preferences, formulate your plan. If you know the cooks will need breathing room, come up with a diplomatic way to explain this to your guests. Maybe you could say something like, “[name of cook] is very glad to have everyone here and is grateful for the offers of help in the kitchen. She thinks just one person helping at a time would be great. So, the rest of us can just visit here in the living room.”
Keep your eyes peeled for other needs/sensitivities
Be attentive to other needs, too. For instance, these could include:
- Health needs: Do people need to bring their own food because of dietary restrictions?
- Special needs/disabilities: Check ahead of time to see how you can make the visit more comfortable for people with these challenges.
- Pets: If people will be bringing their pets, figure out ahead of time how you’ll accommodate them. Also, be aware that other guests (especially children) may be uncomfortable with or allergic to some pets.
Make forethought your friend
Accommodating your family and friends may be one of your favorite parts of celebrating holidays. And a little extra forethought might be just the thing to help everyone (including you) have a delightful time. If you need advance planning tips for the holiday menu, too, check out our 8th Blog Of Christmas: Tips On Preparing Christmas Dinner In Advance.