‘Tis the season to be jolly, no one can tell you off for your Christmas cheer anymore! A time of peace and being with your family, December should be a joyous time of year. Here are a few dos and don’ts for this Christmas season.
The Family Dinner
If you find yourself unlucky enough to be tasked with hosting a Christmas dinner, do consider all your tasks and make a game plan. Coordination is key: it will help you stay on top of things and avoid tantrums over what you were supposed to be doing in the kitchen at 4pm but forgot about.
Don’t leave it to the last minute. Not only will you end up with a small, sad turkey – or goose, lamb, ham, you name it – but you will be more irritable and hence more prone to the typical family rumpus. This includes setting the table, wrapping the gifts, chilling the drinks on time. Leave as little on Christmas Eve as you can, that way nasty last-minute surprises will not spoil your evening.
Do be inclusive and considerate at Christmas. This is a celebration for everyone and should thus take everyone’s wishes into account. Make sure everyone feels involved – and don’t be afraid to delegate specific tasks, as Christmas preparations can be very demanding and require cooperation.
Don’t forget to have fun! The best hosts are the happiest ones, which caters for a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Do think about entertainment. Often guests find it easier to reconnect when they engage over common ground. This applies to both adults and children. Some entertainment ideas are board games, gingerbread decorating, do-it-yourself cocktail areas, and Christmas crafting, to name a few.
Don’t forget to be grateful. This is a time for families to come together, for many a rare occasion that is often taken for granted. After all, there is something oddly comforting about hearing your parents and grandparents bickering while you are watching yet another Christmas film with your siblings.
The Office Christmas Party
Do socialise. Take this opportunity to get to know some of the people from other divisions, as you will not often get the chance, especially if you work in a larger office.
Don’t abandon people, no matter how dull they may be. Not only is it incredibly impolite, but also a lazy way to escape a conversation. Instead, try introducing them to someone else. Similarly, try not to hog someone for too long, or you will be the ‘dull’ one.
Do keep it professional. Your boss and colleagues will be there, so keep in mind that every action will be remembered by them. You will be doing yourself a favour and avoiding that feeling of shame because you mistook your colleagues for strangers. This also includes not drinking too much, dressing appropriately, and controlling your dance moves.
Don’t forget to thank the host. Try not to show up empty-handed, flowers or a bottle of wine are a classic thank-you gift that never fails to impress. Do send a follow-up message or e-mail to thank the host the following day as a well-mannered gesture.
The Christmas Market
Do bring cash. This may be an obvious one, but if you haven’t been in Luxembourg for a while, you forget how important cash remains. While many markets abroad are more advanced and accept payments by card, our stalls are small-scale and more traditional, so just play it safe and visit an ATM first.
Don’t limit yourself to the Christmas markets in Luxembourg. We are lucky to be a small, land-locked country, so take advantage of the nearby markets abroad! Noteworthy Christmas markets to visit are Aachen, Colmar, Trier, Strasbourg, Bruges, Ghent, and Metz, to name a few.
Do arrive with an empty stomach. There are so many delicious bites to try, whether they are Gromperekichelcher or cinnamon pastry! On the other hand, you may want to be careful with your spending…
Don’t monopolise the tables. Christmas markets are a bustling place – especially in Luxembourg where we have a somewhat limited amount of markets. They are a popular destination to get a Glühwein after work, so please be kind enough not to take up more space than you need.
Do prioritise your purchases and beware of Christmas offers (you most probably did not even think about that item you were about to buy before you saw the offer).
Don’t get too caught up in holiday formalities. After all, this time of year is about joy, winding down, and spending time with your family. Make sure you make the most of it.