4 Tips for Surviving Christmas with Multiple Families

1:11 pm

Sometimes Christmas can be a bit stressful, particularly if you need to share it with more than one family.  Some times it can cause fights in the family and that's definitely not something you want during Christmas!

For me I have my family that has strong Christmas traditions of a huge BBQ breakfast in the morning, usually after everyone has opened presents both from Santa and each other. This usually consists of my parents, my siblings, my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. When I started dating my partner they quickly invited him into this tradition too, so each year there's usually 10-12 of us all beginning our festive celebrations from early in the morning. For my family, the celebration usually continues all through until dinner. It's usually a whole day event that everyone participates in.

When I started dating my partner, I didn't realise how much this could change family events such as Christmas. Because now I didn't just have my own, but I had his, and his were split across two house holds. So now I had three families to be with over Christmas. It got a bit stressful, so I've come up with a few tips to help survive Christmas with multiple families. This works for anyone, not just couples!

1. Plan Ahead
This is kind of a no-brainer, but so many people don't actual plan their time for Christmas Day. If you know ahead of time which house you are going to be at when, things can be so much easier. Maybe you will choose to have breakfast and morning tea with the family with young kids so you don't miss their faces when opening their presents from everyone, and maybe you'll spend lunch and the afternoon with the family without young children.

2. Let Each Family Know Your Plans
If any family you are spending Christmas with is like mine, they start shopping for food a few weeks in advance and freeze it. That giant ham and 5kg of prawns might be down sized if you don't plan to be there when it's all eaten. Not only that, but my mum in particular is really appreciative of knowing exactly how much time she gets to spend with me so she can make the most of it.

3. Get "Group" Gifts
One of the biggest things people stress about during the lead up to Christmas is gifts. If you are sharing your Christmas across multiple families, this might mean you have a lot of people to buy gifts for. Sometimes people are difficult to purchase or make gifts for, and if you don't have the funds to be able to purchase a gift for every single person, buy or make something the whole family could enjoy. If that's too difficult buy or make something for those who are partners, and then buy or make something that's for all the children.

4. Alternate Families
If all the families you need to spend Christmas with aren't all living in the same town or within reasonable driving distance, plan out a way to alternate families each year. This year spend it with one, next year with the other and so on. Again, just like when planning how you split up your day if everyone lived in the same location, let each family know this plan. And make sure you phone or Skype the family you aren't with on Christmas Day so no one feels left out.

I hope this helps you de-stress for this Christmas. Let me know if any of these tips help! Do you have any you'd like to add?

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