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Jane Yee: Coping with Christmas shindigs

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You guys, there's only one week to go. One week until the most magical day on the calendar! Unless Jason Kerrison is right and it really is curtains for the world as we know it on Friday. In which case, damn it, all that time and money spent on chrimbo prep for nothing!

However, if the sun does come up on Saturday our little family is in for a busy few days. We've got a bunch of Christmas shindigs to attend and while I'm no stranger to a busy schedule during the festive season, I've never had to factor a baby into the mix.

Over the weekend we had the first of a handful of family get-togethers. It was a dinner to celebrate with Joel's paternal grandparents before they head off to Wellington for Christmas. Everything ran smoothly - we arrived on time, palmed the baby off to family members, ate dinner, wolfed down dessert, then bundled ourselves off back home. Everything was timed perfectly within Victor's existing routine. He napped before we went, was in good spirits during the visit, and went down for the night without a fuss only slightly later than his usual bedtime.

But before I go giving myself a high-five for a job well done, I have to remember that one soiree does not a silly season make.

On Friday my workplace is hosting a Christmas lunch that I'm hoping to attend with Victor in tow. This will be a low-key affair that we can tick off between naps. The only real challenge might be keeping my son's sensitive soul in check while he deals with all the attention he's bound to attract, but overall I think that lunch will be the calm before the storm.

This weekend we'll be convening with Joel's mum's side of the family. We'll be heading about an hour out of Auckland armed with dessert, presents, drink and some meat for the BBQ. And something else... what is it... oh yeah, the baby. The timing won't work so well with his naps and bedtime, so I'm already trying to figure out how we'll run things. As it stands I'm hoping he knocks off his afternoon nap early on the car ride out there, hoping he doesn't get overwhelmed by the unfamiliar environment and all the new faces, and finally hoping he nods off for the night on the way home and doesn't wake when we transfer him from the car to his cot.

Of course he is the boss and will do whatever the heck he wants.

The real test will come on the big day itself. We'll be kicking off Christmas as a new little family - and I can't begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to that morning. I swear, I've been waiting all my life for this particular Christmas. Anyway, after we've done pressies, breakfast and a nap we'll head off to my sister's place to gather with my family for a full Christmas dinner. Three hours later we're due at Joel's parents' place for our second full Christmas dinner. Basically Victor's day is going to be filled with loads of noise and excitement, a few location changes, likely a few costume changes, and he'll be passed from person to person for a record number of cuddles.

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I can't get my head around how the day will go in terms of naps, bedtime and keeping him from getting over stimulated, so I don't think I'll bother trying plan that one. We'll do our very best to deal with whatever challenges we face on the day, but I do hope our boy holds it together just enough for us to enjoy the time with our families.

Then on Boxing Day we will have a glorious sleep in and spend the day lolling about on the couch. Except we have a baby, so no we won't.

How is your kid's calendar looking in the lead up to Christmas? Do you have any tips on how to get through Christmas shindigs without mega meltdowns?

- Essential Mums

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