Thursday, November 30, 2023

How To Have A Low-Key Christmas Catch-Up

Got a crazy Christmas calendar with more to fit in? Here’s how to have a low-key Christmas catch-up with the people you love, without having to do the admin you hate.

‘Tis the season where the group chats suddenly become alive and well with the flurry of ‘we should catch up before Christmas’ messages, due to the fact that December is imminent and we have all subliminally absorbed the fact that post-Christmas doesn’t exist (it does! It’s great! It’s MUCH more relaxed!). So, if you have a suddenly packed Christmas calendar and more dates to cram in there, here’s our guide to having a low-key Christmas catch-up

Lower Your Expectations/Do It In January

Honestly, it wouldn’t be a Capsule Christmas Content piece if we didn’t start it this way, but it just bears repeating over and over again: nothing has to be perfect, and Christmas is an invented deadline for most social occasions.  

Schedule It For Mid-Week

Fridays tend to be booked out with work stuff, weekends tend to be scheduled with kid-friendly activities and there are less weekends in this December, because Actual Christmas takes up one of them! Go for a mid-week hang out, like a Tuesday or Wednesday, because everyone’s expectations are automatically lower (see above) and there’s still an adult thrill of doing things ‘on a school night’. Also, if you do it after 8pm, everyone’s already eaten dinner so you can just have a cup of tea, a glass of wine or a mince pie. Easy peasy.

Outsource (Emotionally & Financially)

Here at Capsule, we’ve already written about the joy of outsourcing but at Christmas, it also takes out the mental pressure of planning if you’re doing The Big Meal. Getting a meal box delivered does several things: a) it stops you from having to meal plan, b) it stops you from having to go to the supermarket the week before Christmas, c) it’s delicious and d) you can hand out ingredients/recipes to willing (or not) family members. There is no ownership over ‘this is a family recipe’ or ‘you have more experience cooking this so why don’t you just do it?’ because it’s a brand-new recipe for everyone! Plus, if people want to financially contribute to the dinner, rather than cook, then it makes things nice and easy because it’s one payment.

Everybody Brings One Thing & One Thing Only

For a super low-key Christmas catch-up, the easiest snack option is to just have everyone bring something for a platter. Fruit, cheese, cracker, olives, etc – a platter is an art, not a science, and is great for long-term snacking, versus the pressure of having a hot meal on the table.

Everybody Brings A Different Version Of The Same Thing

To stop the mental work of ‘what should I bring to this,’ have a theme instead. Have a pasta salad party, a pavlova party, an ice cream sundae party, a mince pie party, a gin cocktail party, a leftovers party (delish!!). This is a fun idea if you’re looking for something that’s a bit special but also not that hard. Also, I once read about someone who had a toast party – she provided the toast and a range of toppings and honestly, that’s a delight!

Have An Outdoor Catch-Up

Nobody wants Covid for Christmas and that is still very much a possibility. If you’re chill about catching Covid, that’s awesome – but I guarantee you’ve got people in your social circle who are still pretty panicked about getting it (for the first, second, third time). An easy solution is to catch up outside – an outdoor deck, a park, the beach, etc. Why waste our good summer evenings being cooped up next to strangers when you can bask outdoors instead? Remember last January? EXACTLY. Get outside while you can.

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