By Bernadette Dimitrov

There are some fundamental rules to follow on the day that will guarantee success. Make a pact with yourself that you will follow a plan of behavior to ensure the day is blessed with you arriving with the spirit of Christmas in your heart. So before you leave the house on the day here is your plan:

1. Don’t judge – absolutely imperative that you put your judgments and opinions to the side for this day. Better still leave them at the door.

2. Forgive – if you are harboring ill feelings about a family member, today is the day to let it go. Every challenge is an opportunity for growth. Choose to grow and move forward. You can let go of the past by choosing to see the learning in the challenge. What is the quality being presented that you don’t like? This is the quality you need to work on within yourself. This is the message being presented in this challenge. Be thankful for the learning and let it go. Remember you cannot change others you can only change yourself by choosing supportive thoughts. Make peace and free yourself to move forward this day.

3. Show interest in others – rather than talking lots about yourself, keep it short and ask questions to show your genuine interest in others on the day eg. ask about what they have been doing, what plans they are considering for the following year, what really stood out for them over the year.

4. Avoid politics – best to keep the conversations light today.

5. Limit your alcohol – too many drinks have ruined the good spirit of the day by people saying things they usually would not have. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are not presenting at your best.

6. Help over the day – pick up a plate and offer to everyone around the room, poor out drinks, make some coffees, take some plates into the kitchen. Show care and kindness.

7. Spend time with the children – even just a few minutes face to face talking with each child will make a world of difference on the day. It shows to them and the parents that you really care and are interested in their experience of Christmas and in showing them love and acknowledgement.

8. Young and old play a game together – bring a board game, basket ball or a cricket bat and ball. After the festive meal suggest to have a fun game together where the children and adults can create some joyous memories on the day.

9. Show gratitude and thanks – at the end of the day a few simple words can really show your love and good Christmas spirit.

10. Spend some special time with your spouse and children – on such a busy day of visiting extended family don’t forget to spend some special time with your immediate family together. Do something special for 5-10 minutes before you leave your home. You could serve a Christmas fruit drink and all make a wish together for happiness, love and joyous surprises over the coming year. You can all raise your glasses and toast to the beginning of new life, new beginnings, forgiveness, unity and a new start. For this is the meaning of the birth of Christ being celebrated today. This will also ensure you all leave the house with a great attitude and with the spirit of Christmas in your heart.

Enjoy the day!

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