How to Have a Jolly Poly Christmas

It's December 28th, which means that Christmas is over and I have survived it yet again. Hooray!

I'm half joking but seriously, holidays are rough. There's a desire for everything to be perfect, for people to feel comfortable and happy, to manage food and drinks and emotions and social awkwardness while smiling and not chugging too much mulled wine.

For me I really wanted to put together a Christmas dinner that could embrace my various groups of friends who didn't have a place to go for the holidays, and also balance that with spending one of my favourite holidays with all my lovers.

Can I be honest? I probably should've picked one goal or the other. So learn from my experience, folks- especially if you're socially anxious, trying to be on top of multiple human-wrangling activities at once is a bad idea.

Don't get me wrong- in many ways I had an amazing holiday! J saved me from kitchen duties and cooked like a demon with help from P, and N was there to pet my head when I got overwhelmed. Opening presents all together was lovely, too, while we drank eggnog and listened to records. Granted I also felt like I was going to burst into half happy, half exhausted tears.

However, I learned some stuff from this:

-It's tempting to start the day out drinking eggnog with brandy.  DON'T DO IT. You won't be able to really eat properly, and you'll be drunk before you're done shoveling wrapping paper into bags. Also, too much eggnog means a lessened enjoyment of cookies.

-Assign a person to be in charge of each important thing. Have a kitchen coordinator if a potluck, who knows when to send people into the kitchen to make food and when they need to be busying themselves elsewhere. Have someone in charge of table setting and decor. Have someone in charge of refreshing appetizers and drinks.

-I don't know about other folks, but I felt that I actually didn't spend all that much time snuggling and kissing my lovers, which was kind of the point of the thing for me in the first place!  So, figure out what your goal is for Christmas (a family feast? intimate time? playing games?) and keep that a major part of your game plan. Additionally? Communicate that to the others. If you need 10 min of one on one time with them, let them know and make sure it happens.

-Figure out a cap of people you can work with and stick to it.  I had so much fun with all the folks that came but I also ran out of spoons more quickly than expected because of it. Additionally, I think if I'm honest, it was hard to pay attention to the needs of my sweethearts, the needs of people I don't know that well, the needs of my partner's family, and my own needs. It's ok to limit things to manageable levels!

-The host cannot be the kitchen manager. In fact, the host should just host- make sure they know everyone, introduce people around, encourage game playing, that sort of thing. And have things to do- play casual games early on to help break the ice and get everyone interacting.

-Have a poly decompression moment with just the cabal. I got to do this with two of my lovers that night, cuddled in bed, and with the other the next morning... and it was so incredibly helpful for me. It prevented me getting headweasels about the evening and helped me let go of things I was having a rough time with.

-EAT PROPER FOOD AND STAY HYDRATED. Have cut fruit and veg out because otherwise people including you are going to crash very early because of the sugar/booze combo. Have a pitcher of water out to encourage people to drink it. You can even put some citrus in it.

-Let go. It's ok if not everything is as you expected it to be. People will have fun, be happy to be fed, and will help clean up! Sure, you may not get to the rosemary popovers, but no one is going to miss them in the pile of other stuff. And if you need to whine or cry to help you decompress? That is ok too. Make sure to have space for it!

Those are some of my tips for a jolly poly holiday- what about you? What have you learned? What makes it easy or difficult?  Do your lovers/metamours hang out, and how do you manage that?

Categories: advice, family, growth, holidays, love, love is a dog from hell, nonmonogamy, parties, personal, sweeties

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