Thanks to 2016 being a Leap Year, Christmas Day has skipped to Sunday this year, moving the Bank Holidays to Monday and Tuesday.
All this means that you need just three days’ leave to have a 10 day break from Saturday 24 December, returning to your desk on Tuesday 3 January.
That’s all really good news but the idea of 10 days surrounded by, and catering for, relatives might be filling you with dread. Here are some handy hints to get through the season of goodwill.
- Add a friend to the guest list. Break up the family tension by introducing a stranger to the mix. Everyone will be polite – at least for a while.
- Eat at least one meal out! If you are determined to cook on Christmas Day, look at options for eating out on Boxing Day. The brasserie at Wivenhoe House is offering a three-course lunch including a half-bottle of wine for £35 per person on 26 December, you’ll need a change of scene by then.
- Embrace the tradition of Christmas. If your family has always enjoyed watching the Queen’s Speech every year since the Coronation, don’t attempt to start dinner before it starts – familiarity will keep everyone calm.
- A little bit of pre-planning can help everything run smoothly. Make a list of everyone’s favourite Christmas food and drink and make sure the cupboards are well stocked.
- A tipple of two can act as a tranquilliser, but don’t go overboard, the tables soon turn the other way…
- Do something nice. If you are the guest offer to help and remember to say please and thank you. A bit of Christmas kindness can go a long way.
- Above all, enjoy and relish it. Wherever you are you’ll be creating some magical memories and if it all goes wrong, it gives you plenty of ammunition to insist you go away next year!