christmas survival guide

The Family Christmas Survival Guide

The saying goes, “you can’t choose your family” and whilst that is true, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Family are the people who are there when the going gets tough, and with Christmas all about celebrating love and appreciation for those around you, it makes sense to spend the festive season with your family.

However, spending more than a few hours with your family, in the small quarters of a house can get very stressful, expensive and emotionally draining very quickly. There will be queues for the bathroom, an endless amount of washing up and even more bedrooms and makeshift beds to cater for.

At Lark and Larks we love Christmas. There’s nothing we love more than cooking a delicious Christmas Dinner in a beautiful kitchen, and enjoying this beautiful holiday with our friends and family, which is why we’ve come up with a few tips to help you truly enjoy this Christmas (and avoid smothering your Mother-in-law*).

*At Lark and Larks we do not condone the smothering of any living human or animal.

Plan Ahead

Rather than spending weeks worrying about getting all of your Christmas shopping done, alongside the extra food, drink, toiletries and bedding that you’ll have to get for the extra people staying over, just go out and do it. As soon as you’ve purchased the extra towels, shampoo and Christmas gifts you’ll feel much better (your bank account on the other hand, not so much).

Plan where family members who are staying with you will sleep, alongside large meals that are easily prepared and served for big groups. Slow cooked curries and casseroles are perfect for big families, and will warm you all up. All you have to do is pop the ingredients in the slow cooker, select the desired temperature and leave it to do its job.

Put Yourself First

It’s no secret that Christmas is a really stressful time of year and when you are juggling work, your family and looking after your extended family you’ll find yourself burning out very quickly. If you find that everything is becoming a little bit overwhelming find a quiet room, shut yourself in and just give yourself a few minutes to compose yourself. If a quiet room is a bit like gold dust, then just lock yourself in the bathroom.

Furthering this, make sure you give yourself at least an hour over the duration of your family’s visit to do something you want. Whether that means going for a run in the morning, enjoying the silence of the kitchen or reading in a coffee shop, you’ll find you are recharged and have the energy to face the intrepid days ahead.


Making yourself responsible for the cooking, cleaning and day to day entertaining activities over the festive period means that you’ll be so busy stressing over what needs to and hasn’t been done, that you will not enjoy Christmas. You have just as much right to enjoy the festive period as your family and friends do, which is why it is important that you delegate some of the jobs and alleviate some of the responsibilities.

DIY Spruce Up of Rooms

There is nothing wrong with wanting your house to look fresh and clean when your family arrive – but this can be a challenge if you are not happy with the interiors of certain rooms. If you want to give the guest bedroom or your bedroom a quick and cost effective facelift, replacing the bedroom door handles, wardrobe doors and sorting the bedroom storage out is a great way to do it.


Staying hydrated in life generally quite important, and a glass of water can help alleviate headaches, reduce stress and wake you up. Because you’re likely to be rushed off your feet throughout Christmas, it is easy to forget about drinking enough water. However, becoming dehydrated can cause serious illness, and leave you feeling fatigued. By making sure you stay hydrated, you’ll have more energy and be able to face the manic few days ahead.

Have minimal expectations

Avoid the idea of creating the ‘perfect’ Christmas that you see in films. You’re probably fully aware that life is very different to the Hollywood rom-coms, and if you have the expectation of a Hollywood style Christmas, you will be left disappointed. There is no need to get yourself into £100s worth of debt just so you can purchase expensive gifts – Christmas is about spending time together, so put the value in that. If you’ve made a schedule and it doesn’t go to plan, don’t worry and just enjoy the time you have with your family.

Moderation is key

With so much delicious food and drink available during the Christmas months, over indulging yourself is easily done. Make sure that you are pacing yourself if you are all having a festive libation – alcohol can lead to poor decision making and terrible hangovers. When it comes to treats, enjoy them and eat when you are hungry – there’s no point eating for the sake of eating, as you’ll make yourself feel sick!

If you’re thinking about changing a few things in your bedroom, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Lark and Larks.