Planning a great family Christmas get together

The coziest time of year. A day of family, food and fun; we all get hyped for Christmas. But there are other ways to enjoy this merry time off work that you may not have tried yet. Like everything in life, a bit of planning goes a long way and is essential for your absolutely perfect Christmas, snow or no snow.

If you are the type of person who enjoys hosting or setting the scene for the whole family to enjoy, or if you feel like stepping up with some fresh ideas, take a look at our tips on how to plan the perfect Christmas.

Set the Mood

It’s officially time to start decorating the house. Christmas is all about that warm fuzzy feeling, so this is a great time to cozy up and make it look and feel amazing. I love filling the house with wonderful scents. There are so many amazing things to bring in the Christmas spirit from Nordstrom at the moment, little things like candles, cozy throws, cushions and twinkling lights really make a huge difference.

Start Planning Early

It’s time to plan your perfect Christmas. You’ll need a planner or a piece of paper and a pen. Start by breaking the day down into time slots: Morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening and night.

Spread key events and activities like cooking, presents, games, family walk and meals across the day. Don’t get too caught up in the details, think about how you want to feel throughout the day. This will affect what you plan to eat, the music you’ll play and the drinks you’ll serve. For example: How do you want to feel in the morning? Do you want to cozy up in your pyjamas at 6 am, opening presents with a gingerbread latte in hand, or at 11 am while sipping on champagne?

 Get a Playlist Ready

Everyone knows music is key to setting the scene and changing the mood. If you’ve planned your perfect Christmas day, you’ll need music to match. Make sure you’ve created multiple playlists you can easily pop on the speakers for different stages of the festivities: From jazz, Christmas no.1’s, to Christmas trap or techno, the possibilities are much wider than you thought! Think about the people you’re spending Christmas with and make sure there’s something for everyone.

Movies, Movies, Movies!

If you don’t find time to watch Christmas movies on the big day itself, you’ll surely be huddled up on the days leading up to, or following it. My personal favorites are the 90’s Christmas classics I remember from my childhood: Home Alone, The Muppets Christmas Carol and The Santa Clause are up there. But remember there’s plenty for adults: Die Hard, In Bruges, Bridget Jone’s Diary, You’ve Got Mail and March Of The Penguins are all compelling options! Here are some Netflix flicks you can easily relax with:

  • Jingle All The Way
  • Deck The Halls
  • 12 Dates of Christmas
  • A Very Murray Christmas
  • Get Santa
  • Happy Christmas (with Lena Dunham)
  • A Christmas Prince
  • It’s a Wonderful Life

Be Entertaining

Even if you have the best drawn out plan, nothing ever runs exactly according to plan on Christmas, which is why it’s good to have a lot of games at the ready. Also, keep them simple! Games like Bananagrams and Articulate are great even for those who aren’t huge board game fans. In my family, it’s traditional to play bingo on Christmas day! We like to spice it up with cash prizes. It’s a bit of Christmas gambling with no skill involved, so even the youngest kids and oldest grandmas will get involved and it’s never too serious! If you want to get creative, prepare stocking-style gifts to win or incorporate other games like Christmas Charades or Christmas movie Trivia to win bonus prizes!

Add a Thoughtful Touch where Possible

Who can deny that food and drink take the center stage on Christmas day? Make sure there is plenty and choose simple recipes that you can prep beforehand. I find that lots of Christmassy canapes and drinks that just keep coming are the best option. Try Eggnog breakfast bread pudding and Spiced coffee for breakfast. These recipes are seriously next level.

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