“Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring….” except Mum and Dad who were still debating whose turn it was to finish wrapping the mountain of presents… OK so maybe that’s just in our house, but we all know that creating that magical chocolate box Christmas for our families takes a lot of time, effort and finely honed negotiating skills.
Whether it’s agreeing whose turn it is to drive, what presents to buy the kids, whether to have turkey or goose, the list of festive hurdles to negotiate can seem endless. But you’re not alone – we’ve put together some negotiating tips to help you survive the festive season with your sense of humour intact!
Making Child’s Play Of Negotiating
Ask any Mum and Dad and they’ll tell you that the festive period is a negotiating minefield where kids are concerned. It starts from the moment they write their 12 page Christmas list asking for a dog, the latest Xbox and an ipad, to Christmas Day when they refuse point blank to eat their sprouts before finishing on Boxing Day when you try in vain to stop them tucking into their third box of Quality Street.
Warning them that Father Christmas is watching their every move and threatening them with lumps of coal seems to have absolutely no effect. So before you bow to emotional blackmail and rush out to buy that puppy that will make your daughter’s life complete – take a moment to stand firm, learn from the mistakes of last year and be prepared to negotiate. Be clear about exactly how much you want to spend on your kids and on what – remember forewarned is forearmed. Most importantly work as a team – think football and one on one defending!
Negotiating With The Grown-ups
So you thought the kids were tricky – throw in Great Aunt Maud, Uncle Bill who likes his whisky and the mother-in-law and you have a Christmas recipe for disaster that would have Nigella and Delia running for the hills. Trying to get consensus on when to eat, who wants to watch The Sound of Music for the 10th year in a row and whether your father-in-law has been cheating at Pictionary again – it’s not surprising that Christmas can be a stressful time of the year.
So use time out to provide some welcome relief – busy yourself in the kitchen, take a turn round the garden, even lock yourself in the loo. Catch your breath and come back out with a smile on your face and your party hat back on!
Finally, when all the turkey is eaten, the presents opened and you are sitting in front of the fire with your feet up wearing your Christmas jumper – it’s time to count your blessings and be thankful you’ve successfully negotiated another year’s festivities.