How to Play the Perfect Host: Our Tips

Who said hosting your family on Christmas Day is stressful?! Certainly not us. With our top tips, you can ace the festive get-together, with inspiration for everything from decorations to ensuring everyone’s happy with the food you serve. Read on…

Decking the Halls

According to the American Express in this Good Housekeeping article, we each spend £75 on Christmas decorations annually in a bid to ensure our guests are wowed when they walk through the door. That’s a lot of decorations. Probably. And they all need to be put up or arranged nicely. Definitely.

Don’t worry about making the house look festive, though; it should be a joyous job and if you start early and involve the whole family it should run smoothly. Then, you can put your feet up closer to the big day itself (December 25) and enjoy your Christmassy handiwork.

If you don’t want to splash out on decorations, consider making some. There are loads of tutorials online (try Pinterest for plenty of inspiration) and you may find you can make use of old and tired-looking decorations and give them a new lease of life. Gather foliage from the garden and make your own centrepiece. Alternatively, add brightly coloured baubles to a glass fishbowl – easy and effective.

Cater for Everyone

The keen home cook who doesn’t consider his or her guests’ dietary requirements in advance equals a very stressed home cook on Christmas Day. This year, do yourself a favour and check, check and check again. Make sure you know what everyone is (and isn’t!) eating and shop accordingly. If you have a vegetarian or two coming for dinner, consider a meat-free starter for your meat-eating guests too – that way, you don’t have to make two separate starters as well as two mains. Soup is always a good shout.

When it comes to the main event – you could serve turkey and, for example, a nut roast – both with all the usual trimmings like Brussel sprouts, carrots, roasties and more. Yum. Make sure your dessert is suitable for veggies, too; some puddings contain gelatine, which is derived from collagen taken from animal body parts and therefore won’t be on the menu for vegetarian diets.

Make life easier for yourself by preparing your dessert in advance and storing it in the fridge. Cold desserts like Eton mess don’t even need to be warmed up – simple. Or save the hassle and buy something in. The most important thing is that you’re not spending half the day in the kitchen – and therefore not socialising with your guests.

Timings Are Key

What time do you want to serve dinner? Once you’ve found out when everyone’s planning to arrive, you can work backwards and write down a list of cooking timings. This will help you stay on track throughout the morning and will ensure last-minute panic is more than avoided.

…and relax! Ask yourself this: what’s the worst that can happen? Your meal isn’t quite ready on time and people have to have another glass of Prosecco while they wait. We’re pretty sure they won’t mind…

Until next time…


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