How to combine festive traditions for a big family Christmas

Make the whole family feel at home this Christmas

As families become extended it can be difficult to combine everyone's Christmas traditions. While you may be used to Christmas Day being done in a certain way, spouses, partners and other family members may do things quite differently.

It isn't always possible to do things in a way that works with everyone's traditions, but it is a good idea to try to include as many as possible. This can make people feel more at home on Christmas Day and work to bring the family together.

To help you find the best way to achieve this, here are our top tips:

Stagger the presents

One of the biggest difference to different traditions on Christmas Day is when people open presents. Some families will open them first thing in the morning, while others will open their gifts after Christmas lunch or even later on in the evening.

The time that presents are given and exchanged can really alter how the day feels, so it is a good idea to check what extended family members are used to. If people tend to open gifts at different times to your family, it can be a good idea to spread the giving of presents out.

This can mean you open some in the morning and the rest at a different time. It won't make too much difference to the day and will help to maintain the excitement. It is also a nice way to show that you have made a concession to other people's traditions.

Alter the menu

While Christmas dinner usually contains the same main ingredients - after all, what's Christmas without a turkey? - the trimmings may be different from family to family. 

This doesn't mean you have to totally change your own tradition, instead, why not add a few extra bits to the table to help people feel at home?

Including different traditions on Christmas Day can help make extended family feel at home

Providing both roast and mash potatoes and different types of stuffing are easy ways to add a touch of everyone's traditions to the day and ensure that each person at the table has a taste of home.

You could even ask people to bring something that they grew up eating on Christmas Day so it doesn't result in any extra work for you if you tend to do the cooking.

If someone has something completely different to the usual Christmas dinner, why not incorporate that into a light meal later on in the day? This means you don't have to totally change what you serve and you still include everyone.

Change when you eat

A lot of people tend to eat at different times on Christmas Day, with some having their big meal at lunchtime and others waiting until the evening. If this is the case with those sharing the day with you, it could be a good idea to split the difference and dish up somewhere in between.

While the time you serve dinner won't really make a big difference, it is something that adds to the feel of the day. This is why it might be a good idea to alter the time slightly to reflect everyone's tradition.

Make them a part of your traditions

If your family has set traditions on Christmas Day, make sure you include extended family members in them. This can be almost anything, whether it is filling a stocking with little gifts, having a family photo taken or giving everyone a pair of socks as part of their presents.

Doing this will make a big difference to anyone spending Christmas away from their immediate family and can show them that they are part of your family too, which is a really lovely message to put across on Christmas Day.  

To make someone's Christmas really special, have a look at our beautiful selection of gifts.