Tis’ the season for celebrating with your team, showing them you care–and juggling holiday vacation schedules.

No one wants to be a Scrooge and tell team members they can’t take paid time off to enjoy their favorite holidays with family and friends, but in small businesses, especially the tiniest ones, it can get tricky. If you run a retail business or restaurant where customers expect you to stay open, you’ll need to figure out a creative solution.

Even professional services firms may need to remain fully staffed. For instance, if you run an accounting or bookkeeping firm, it may be hard to shut down because of month-end closes.

Here are some scheduling tips, so there are no hard feelings when the New Year rolls around.

Look at demand.

Not every business needs to be open during the holidays. If your business gets slow during the period from Christmas to New Year’s Day, for instance, consider shutting down for that time. That way you won’t have to worry about holiday scheduling at all.

A decision like this can go a long way toward telling employees you run a family-friendly company. And it may give you a much-needed break, too.

Ask for vacation requests early.

If you do need to stay open, set a deadline for vacation requests for the December holidays ASAP so you can spot any staffing challenges early. The sooner you know there is a problem, the more time you will have to plan a solution.

In a business that stays open during the holidays, employees may be willing to be flexible if they know too many people want to be out on the same days. For instance, perhaps one employee will be willing to work on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day. If you let your team know there are overlapping requests, they may surprise you by suggesting some creative solutions themselves.

Keep diversity in mind.

If your team avoids talking about religion and politics at work, you may not know what holidays everyone celebrates—especially if you’ve recently added new employees. Don’t make assumptions about which days team members will want to take off. Wait until they have put in a request for them to make any staffing decisions.

Respond to vacation requests quickly.

Once you’ve received all of your vacation requests, make decisions quickly. Even if you can’t give every team member the days off that they want, they will appreciate your promptness. For anyone who has to buy plane tickets, delaying your verdict could cost them a lot of money in higher fares.

Consider outside staffing.  

In fields like retail, sometimes bringing in a little extra help can go a long way toward ensuring team members can enjoy time off with their families.  If, for instance, you run a retail store, consider bringing in some holiday temps. While you probably will need at least a few people who know your operations well to be available, adding a few temps will give you more flexibility in granting vacation requests.

Set the right tone.

If you do have to work on the holidays, do what you can to keep the tone in your workplace festive, not frenzied. In retail shops and eateries, the holidays can be hectic times, but if you stay upbeat, so will your team. Small gestures like stocking the break room with home made gingerbread cookies or giving out funny, inexpensive prizes to employees for things like “Goofiest Santa sweater” can make working on the holidays memorable, not miserable.

Take pictures.

If you do work on the holidays, show how dedicated your team is by sharing their photos on your Facebook page or other social media. Giving them a shout-out for showing up is a great way to show how much you appreciate them and start the New Year on a positive note.