Christmas countdown: hosting Christmas at your place

11 Jul 2017

Is it just us, or has Christmas come around super quick this year? Not that we’re complaining… We can’t wait for time spent with family and friends, the summer weather, and all the holiday cheer!

If you’re celebrating Christmas with your extended family and have bravely put up your hand to host it at your house this year, then here’s our tips to make the event run as smoothly as possible.

One month before: Planning and organisation

No time spent planning is ever wasted… Especially when it comes to hosting Christmas!

Give yourself plenty of time to plan out your food and drinks menu. If your family often bring a side dish each, use this time to figure out who is bringing what and how that will affect what you’ll prepare. Remember, communication is key!

Know exactly what dishes you’ll be making, how many heads you’ll be feeding and have a shopping list on hand to add to if need be. Finalise your big-ticket items that you need to plan in advance such as meat, seafood, and Christmas pudding (if you’re making it yourself from scratch).

Three weeks before: Presents

This applies to both your immediate family and presents for your extended family that are coming over.

Whether your extended relatives do a “Secret Santa”, presents for kids-only, or no presents at all, it’s always best to be prepared and beat the Christmas shopping rush. If you do presents, be sure to stick to the set budget and take some time to think about a thoughtful gift.

If you buy presents in advance, then you’ll have plenty of time to wrap and write cards and check this off your to-do list.

Two weeks before: Plan and set up

Take some time to think about the seating arrangements for when the extended family come for Christmas. Figure out how many people are expected, whether you’ll be hosting inside or outside and, if you’re having a “buffet-style” spread, where the food will be arranged.

Now if you’ve put up your hand to host, then you probably know how many people your house can fit comfortably. But it’s all about making your space work best for your guests; if you can fit everyone comfortably at the dining room table – then perfect! But if not, you may have to set up two or three tables outside, or have an adults’ and kids’ table. Ideally, everyone should be together in the same area though.

One week before: Decorate

If you haven’t already, set aside some time to put up the Christmas tree and place some Christmas decorations around your home with your family. There’s just something magical about this part of Christmas and it’s a great way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Next, think about adding some decorations for your Christmas day get together. A great decoration idea is to make some tabletop centrepieces. Check out some simple, DIY ideas here.

A few days before: Food

Do a final shopping trip to get any last-minute items and ingredients. Your meat and seafood order should be picked up by Christmas Eve.

Save yourself the stress by preparing most of your dishes in the couple of days leading up to Christmas. Have all your baking and desserts done the day before and your side dishes prepped, so they’re ready and you don’t have to fuss too much with them on Christmas morning.

Do a final check of all your ingredients and make sure you don’t need to do a last-minute dash to the shops for anything you’ve forgotten… But hopefully if you’ve followed this list, you won’t have to!

On the day: Sit back, relax and enjoy!

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