Christmas made easy

 

The festive season is almost upon us and with it comes the pressure to create an impressive Christmas Dinner for family and friends. Some people look forward to planning and preparing for Christmas festivities all year long, while others approach the holiday season with a fear of the advent calendar ticking down.

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Whichever camp you fall in, there are a few tried and tested tips that will help get you through the year.

  • Lists, lists, lists
    Planning ahead is the key to a more relaxed and enjoyable Christmas Dinner. The earlier you think about what you’d like to do, the sooner you can shop for non-perishables and have as much as possible ready to go. Avoiding a Christmas Eve dash to the supermarket is a sure stress-reliver. As well as the dinner menu, think about what extra cutlery, glasses and table decorations you need and stock up the cupboards.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate
    If someone asks if there is anything they can do to help out, grab the opportunity and give them a task. Whether it’s bringing the Christmas crackers, finding extra glasses or plates, or making the pavlova, there’s sure to be something they can do that will make your day a little bit easier.
  • Newer isn’t necessarily better
    A busy Christmas morning probably isn’t the best time to be trialling new or complicated recipies. Often, people are happy to enjoy traditional Christmas fare or a relaxed BBQ. If you do want to serve something impressive to your guests, think about doing a trial-run a few weeks before the big day.
  • Look to the experts
    The rise of the celebrity chef means there’s always someone out there who can offer advice on how to achieve the perfect pav, the most mouth-watering glaze for your ham, or the best way to prepare your veg. Many chefs dedicate whole sections of their cookbooks to Christmas and there are plenty of recipies, tips and tutorials online. Make the most of the experts and the knowledge they are happy to share.
  • Touches of brilliance
    Christmas is the perfect time to bring a little bling to the dinner table. Whether it’s a sparkling decoration, flowers, garnishes to the food or special place settings, you can make sure your guests are in the Christmas spirit with a few simple touches. Berries in your water jug, herbs in your butter, personalised name tags at the table and pretty crackers are all fun and easy ways to make Christmas special.
  • Responsible hosting
    There’s no harm in a treat on Christmas Day, but you can help your guests enjoy a safe, happy Christmas by making sure you have enticing options for non-alcoholic drinks. Plenty of shops sell gorgeous-looking jugs or glass drink dispensers that you can fill with juice or a selection of fizzy drinks – add some mint leaves, lemon slices or cut strawberries and it becomes a decoration in itself. Plenty of water jugs are always good to have on hand too.

Whatever you decide to do on Christmas Day, make sure you take time to sit back and enjoy all your efforts. Go as over-the-top as you wish, but don’t miss out on all the fun!