10 Things to Think About When Hosting Holiday Event this Season

Children will cry about not wanting this, needing that, and will make you feel at times that you are losing your mind.  How do you intend to manage breakfast, lunch and dinner for the holidays?  Where will you be going?  Who will be coming to your home?  What will you do about the toys that children will not want to be separated from?  You can make your lives easier if you are prepared for at least some of the issues that might arise that day.

1.  List what your hopes are for the holiday.  By writing them down, you will stay focused and motivated when challenging moments come.

2.  Note what is your main priority and list other duties on a to-do list.  For instance, if you haven't completed Christmas shopping, then this would be the most important.  Other things would include: decorating, meal planning, house cleaning, and gift wrapping and labeling.  You will also need to keep in mind that children will get hungry, so will you be making breakfast or asking others to help that day or make their own.

3.  When children become emotional due to being overwhelmed with so much activity that day.  Would it make sense to tote little ones around, when it could be easier to keep them at home?  If you must leave, will they be taking a nap before they arrive at a relative's home?

4.  Toy opening.  Is it necessary to open all toys at once on that day?  If there are some that you know will be their favorites, would it be better to hold off opening those until after the children return from a relative's home?  Children like to keep their favorite toys close to them.  They may not want to share with other children on that day.  Understandably so, they waited all year for the things!

5.  Night before gift wrapping.  This is never a good idea since there are other things that might need to be tended to.  But if you have to, consider putting children in bed earlier or getting your mate or someone else in the family to start wrapping while you are making dinner for the following day.

6.  Meal preparation.  Some things to keep in mind when it comes to planning meals:  have some idea of how many guests are coming, make most things prior to the holiday, check in with your guests to be sure they are bringing requested items, ask that children don't bring toys with sound and be sure your own children aren't breaking the rules.  These things can be upsetting to the mood especially while guests are eating.

7.  House-cleaning.  Be sure your atmosphere is clean and comfortable for your guests.  Cover precious furniture and remove cherished items to prevent them from being ruined due to accidents.  If you are going to someone else's home, keep in mind that if children didn't get certain things they wanted for the holidays, they might fight about a toy or break it. 

8.  Delegate some responsibility to others who don't mind taking part in the following: videography, photography, house cleaning, organizing, decorations, meal planning, cooking, meal serving, beverages, entertaining children, kitchen cleaning and service after event is over. 

9.  Check over your grocery list again days before.  Try to stick to the time you plan to serve meals.  The longer it takes to wait to eat, the more likely people will get anxious.  People just aren't themselves when they are hungry.  If you and your family are picky eaters, be sure to bring things that you as well as others might like.  In addition, meal preparers will need to be sure they make enough items for visitors.

10.  Be sure the theme of your holiday celebration is well-represented as well as the things you hope to accomplish.  Is there someone there that should be honored?  Did someone recently wed?  Is there a pregnancy announcement?  Maybe someone would simply like prayer.  Whatever the achievement or the issue, be sure that it is addressed and good comes from it. 

Events and related things become challenging for hosts and their guests, when they allow their tiredness and impatience with others to show.  Watch how you talk to your helpers, parents and their children.  Some guests will not have the same appetite they might have at home.  They might not eat all their vegetables and meat, drink all their beverages, etc., rather than make negative comments or shame people, keep personal opinions to self.  If responsibilities become a bit much, remove yourself from the scene.  Take a nap, walk outdoors, or sit in your car and read a good book until you can get back into the right mood.

Nicholl McGuire maintains another blog for people who are easily bored.  See here.

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