On December 24th, families, friends, and close acquaintances worldwide come together, usually under one roof, to celebrate the festive season. What happens over the following 24-48 hours is anyone’s guess. Joy is shared, mind games are played, tempers are lost, and kilo upon kilo of food is consumed. You need a strategy, a guide, and sometimes an escape plan. The Affinity Group has used our 5-Step Product and team expertise to develop and deliver your plan for festive action.
Festive Survival Guide
Problem: The holiday season is full of mixed emotions, diverse cultures and beliefs, expectations, and added expenses. Let’s not forget the family gatherings, present giving and THE food!
Strategy: Grab every hint, tip and tactic you can use, and implement them all!
Outcome: Sanity, clarity and a Ho Ho whole lot of reduced stress and even, dare we say it, a bit of festive cheer!
Problem: You need detailed analysis to determine the likelihood of your festive holiday succeeding.
Execution: Analyse past holidays. What worked? What didn’t? Do you need more lights? How about fewer in-laws? Review the policy on festive hats. What’s the booze to food quota? Last year's happiness reading: Did it increase or decrease?
Conclusion: A scientifically optimised holiday plan that shows… man, you really do need a holiday!
The Festive Feasibility Report
OK, The Feasibility Report comes back positive. But the stakes are still high, and there’s still so much to get done. Follow this game plan.
Festive Ready - Let’s Do This
Problem: There’s always a ‘random’ in the room! That one potential 'risk zone' person with controversial opinions - The Willy Wonka ‘Bad Nut!’
Mitigation: Prepare a list of diversion tactics (like suddenly remembering a 'forgotten' pie in the oven). An air horn also works wonders in case of dire emergencies. How about preparing your kids to ambush and gift-wrap the worrisome offender using a safe word or phrase like “Jingle Jingle Jingle”?
Result: No bad vibes and no name-calling, f-bombs or door-slamming!
Risk Assess Your Family Gatherings
Problem: Festive food is super expensive.
Method: Compare turkey, sprouts, cranberry sauce, pudding prices and every other festive food cost across different stores. Once you do it, it’s life-changing, just like that festive classic - It’s A Wonderful Life!
Advantage: You’ll have the best feast for your buck. Who said spreadsheets can’t be fun and festive?
Cost Benchmark Your Banquet Of Food
Problem: You’ve cost benchmarked and triple-cross-checked, but prices are still high!
Solution: Crowdsource the food feast. Assign each guest a dish to bring, then save all leftovers to make festive meal concoctions, whip up tasty holiday vol-au-vents, and offer delicious deconstructed desserts. Be creative. Just make sure the food looks festive plus tastes rich and yummy.
Benefit: Diverse menu, less work, more fun, and a smaller dent in your wallet.
Holiday Meal Planning: Feast on a Budget
Problem: Some people have too many eggnogs! Conversations get heated.
Technique: Remove all emotion, be hyper-honest and revert to a PowerPoint. Seriously, who can argue with festive pie charts and bauble bullet points? If all else fails, act out the family argument in a game of Charades.
Achievement: Yippee Ki-Yay. You just won something but we couldn't think what to write next. Here, have a walnut.
Negotiating Family Arguments: The CEO Way
Problem: You need some YOU time. It’s been a busy year. You’re tired. You don’t have the energy to play festive games and be ‘on-point’ for your kids, let alone your relative’s kids!
Plan: Create a loooooooong to-do list for them. Include tasks like 'Test all chocolates for quality’, ’Who can find the best YouTube video on how to insert batteries into new Christmas toys?’, ‘Whoever cleans up 1kg of wrapping paper gets 1hr of iPad time’.
Success: Kids are busy and happy, and you probably get 30 minutes of peace and quiet!
Project Manage Your Kids
Problem: 'Tis the season to be jolly but at what expense to the planet?
Initiative: Use LED lights. Eat every last leftover. Recycle paper, plastic and ribbon. Convert after-dinner gas and wind into energy! Have family and friends bring their own plates. Better still, have guests stay at their own homes. Don’t have them over at your house! It saves on petrol and therefore saves the planet.
Impact: A greener holiday that Mother Earth would approve of.
Festive Eco-Friendly Sustainability
Problem: After a big dinner comes the need for some well-earned ‘shut-eye’.
Task: Tactically provide yourself with a cosy nap zone in advance. Divert other guests’ attention away from your chosen seating/sleeping area using a decoy or distraction. Smoke machines work, but they’re a little intense. Go on, you’re a smart person; think of something yourself!
End Result: Done right, you get to have a well-deserved rest, perfectly timed to recharge for the upcoming evening festivities.
Time Manage Your Post-Dinner Snooze
Task: It’s over. The gifts are opened, food is digested, and whatever was said, is now in the past! It’s time to look at how it all went with a cheerful recap and review.
Result: With the final mince pie, the leftover cheese board and a small glass of slightly curdled Bailey’s, you can work out who did what, how things went and what you’ll do to make it even better next year!
The Festive Review
We hope this overly-written guide of festive fun begins to help you relax, enjoy your downtime, and have tons of fun over the festive season!