Ah, Christmas. The most magical time of year. Where you get to stuff your face with food and no one can say anything because it’s still 2017 and #NewYearNewMe doesn’t start for another 6 days (so keep your opinions to yourself, Aunt Mary).
But while you may have always enjoyed being the guest, perhaps you’ve flipped the tables on 2017 and decided to give hosting a go. Just be warned; it’s no walk in the park, unless you’re Martha Stewart. So here are some tips to get you through your hosting duties as stress-free as possible.
Image via Helen Cathcart
Plan It Out
A key to hosting any party is making sure you’ve covered everything, from the basics to the high-level stuff that requires some serious thought. If you’re thinking of preparing something fancy, give yourself enough time to head to specialty stores and make a list of everything you’ll need on the day. You don’t want find that you’ve forgotten the sauce when all the shops are closed.
Get The Drinks Flowing
You may or may not be the best cook in the world, but at least you can whip up some pretty great drinks (and the better the drinks, the less likely your guests will notice you burnt the potatoes). If you have time, get festive with these Christmas-inspired cocktails – your guests will be so impressed, they might just forget about the food.
Via How To Decorate
Have The Nibblies Ready
With the drinks flowing and the the countdown to the big feast ticking away, your guests are bound to get a little peckish. Grazing stations are a good idea, and relatively easy to put together. Head to your local supermarket in the days leading up and grab an assortment of cheese, cold meats, olives, crackers, seasonal fruit, and dips. Nail the placement and it’ll look like something out of a Martha Stewart catalogue.
Know Your Limits
If you’ve always had aspirations to be the next Jamie Oliver but know you’re nowhere near that goal, don’t use Christmas as practice (save it for a Tuesday night dinner). It’s all fun and games trying to prepare a royal-worthy feast until the fire alarm goes off. Stick to recipes which you know you’ll be able to recreate, or ask for help. Nothing will cause you more stress than not having a Plan B to your Sahara Desert-dry chicken.
Start With The Hard Stuff
The key to nailing your Christmas feast is getting the hard stuff out of the way; so if you’ve decided to tackle the infamous Christmas ham this season, make light work of the rest of your cooking adventure by getting it out of the way (so preheat that oven!). Once you’ve sorted out your menu, it’s a good idea to list everything based on time taken to prepare and cook them.
Get The Little Things Out Of The Way
By knowing exactly what you’re going to start with on the day, you can make everything a whole lot easier by getting the little side notes sorted before hand. Most desserts can be made the day or night before, and drinks – like festive frose’s – can be kept in the freezer until you’re ready to start serving them. Pre-cut anything that needs to be cut, like vegetables that need to be roasted, and set the table while everyone is still lingering about.
Spread The Christmas Cheer With Leftovers
If you’re anything like us, you might have a problem with quantity control. If your fridge is overflowing with enough leftovers to last you for two weeks, bring out the plastic containers and zip lock bags and start divvying up the leftovers between your guests. Your kitchen will be a lot clearer and your guests will appreciate the delicious gift.