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