When the in-laws are grumpy and the children bored...
Once the presents have been opened and the wrapping paper shredded, the days between Christmas and New Year can all too easily turn into a storm of family fighting as three or more generations have to co-exist under one roof.
Yet with a little planning, you can circumnavigate the rows, keep the peace – and even grab a few minutes of alone-time to gather your wits and energy...
Eat: On the floor – or by a roaring fire. Sounds bananas but after the endless rounds of cooked breakfasts, laying the table for lunch, clearing the table after lunch, then laying out food again for dinner, the Christmas period can be one long stretch of arduous domesticity. So skip the table from time to time and simply flip open a rug and make breakfasts a picnic with the children – mince pies, croissants, satsumas and chocolate is all you need. It is Christmas, after all.
Read: Quentin Blake’s A Christmas Carol. When you’re desperate for a few minutes of peace by yourself, keep grandparents and young children occupied with a reading session of this modernised classic. Us adults will love the traditionalism of a Charles Dickens favourite and the children will love Blake’s wonderful illustrations. £4 www.amazon.co.uk
Play: The Hunger Games District 12 Board Game. Getting teenagers out of bed and off the sofa can be a challenge. But board games are something the whole family can be cajoled into – then really enjoy. Update your classic collection of games with The Hunger Games version and at least you’ll seem like you’re moving with the times. £22.99 www.amazon.co.uk
Devise: A Christmas treasure hunt. It’s all very well having the children play endless video games, but after a few days, cabin fever starts to set in - create a treasure hunt of Christmas related clues so they can use some brainpower and burn off all that chocolate-fuelled energy.
Flop: Onto your sofa – your favourite tipple in hand. Because when the kids are asleep, it’s high time for adults to sit back, relax and soak up the best television of the season in the form of Sherlock, Call The Midwife, Downton Abbey and Dr Who Christmas specials. Bliss! Why not take the opportunity to put on some ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks for multitasking at its best?