Hosting Stress Free Christmas Quick Guide
Plan Your Menu
- This is the time to get out special recipes and make festive foods that really feel like Christmas – family favorites – think about if anyone is gluten free, dairy free or other issues – not that it will change your menu but people appreciate thoughtfulness
- Compile your grocery list in advance
- Shop early or even consider grocery delivery but have them delivered a day early in case there is something last minute you need – or they are out of anything
- Remember to plan the beverages too adults and kids, kids love festive drinks in fun glasses and so do adults consider have a signature cocktail for the grown ups
- Do as much meal prep ahead of time as possible
- Accept help from your guests when hosting Christmas
Clean & Decorate Your House
- Nothing says Christmas like a beautifully decorated tree, lots of lights, and a merry table setting.
- Tableware: There are two schools of thought:
- Pull out your best china and silver to make the meal feel special or use.
- Use every day dishes with extra fancy touches to make clean up simpler.
- Deep clean entertaining areas and any guest bedrooms you will use
- Add touches like candles and throw blankets to create a cozy atmosphere, and if you have a fireplace light a fire (but always test the fireplace a few days ahead to make sure the smoke draws correctly) ((Yes this is from a bad experience J)
Create A Fun Celebration
- Plan the event - Know when you want to serve your meal and then let the rest of the events fall around that
- Let your guests know when they should arrive and what they should bring
- Plan some entertainment whether it’s a fun card game, charades, carols or even dancing
- Consider how clean up will work and what to do with leftovers
- Have Christmas music ready (online, records or event local Christmas radio station) Here is a list of our favorites.
- Plan ahead what you and your family will wear and set it out – this will help eliminate last minute running around when kids can’t find their tights and the Santa hats are missing.
Gift Exchanges Tis the Season
- Decide in advance whether this party or dinner involves giving gifts and let your guests know
- If this is your big family present, get out garbage bags for the paper, and shopping bags for people to bring their gifts home
- You can do something jolly like a white elephant or simple like secret Santa
- As the host it is always a nice gesture to give a party favor, and at this time of year a small ornament or cookies you made
Expect the Unexpected
- Pre-think contingency plans especially if you are cooking something new
- Be ready for that guest that over indulges – they spend the night or Uber
- Stock your medicine cabinet in case of a headaches, minor injury or upset stomach
- Focus your attention on the joy of the event, everything else will work out fine – and if it doesn’t that makes a great story next Christmas