For modern families, it can often be the case that Christmas is the only day of the year guaranteed to see everyone eating together around the table. For this reason, there is an awful lot of pressure on the host to get it right, particularly when catering for other family members such as Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents. If you are looking to wow guests this year, this indulgent yet thrifty guide will have you appearing as a stylish, domestic goddess capable of creating the most beautiful Christmas experience your family and friends have ever seen.
Show Stopping Surroundings
A tastefully decorated tree is an absolute must if you are playing host on Christmas day. The wow factor can lie in all manner of aspects whether it’s through choosing a real tree, going for an alternative colour scheme or creating Christmas sparkle with a tree that offers a gentle twinkling light show as you eat.
Christmas dinner is the main event of the day for adults and should be treated as so. Your dining room not only needs to look great, it also needs to be highly functional in order for guests to truly relax as they eat. If your table and chairs are looking a little tired, there are plenty of ways you can rejuvenate the furniture in time for Christmas. Investing in new chairs is a great way to refresh the room without replacing the whole set, often saving you money. You can also look to add tie-on cushions to the chairs to make them lovely and comfortable, or rub down a scratched table and paint it with a vintage paint colour for a totally transformed table at a fraction of the price it would be to replace it.
The finishing touches to your dining area will be the making of the setting, so be sure you go all out for this. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, but it does mean you will need to be creative. Do you have enough plates to cater for all? If not you may find that your place settings will not match (unless you are prepared to go out and buy a matching set) so think quirky and eclectic; if nothing matches, make that the theme! From differently patterned napkins to glasses of all shapes and sizes, you can achieve a cozy and stylish looking table with your existing crockery.
For a personal touch that will delight guests, make homemade crackers this year and add in a small gift you know they will love. You can find instructions on making Christmas crackers here and then let your imagination run wild with how to decorate (remember to add names to each so they don’t get muddled up and can double up as a place setting!) and what to pop in them.
Phenomenal Festive Food
In a bid to impress, many slave away for days on end to create endless amounts of tasty treats and this more often than not results in happy guests but one stressed out host that has spent the entirety of Christmas day in the kitchen. Make life as easy as possible for yourself by creating a meal plan for the day and sending these out to guests in advance. Explain to guests that if there is something they don’t like on the plan that they have a deadline to let you know, after this the menu is set. Don’t be a hero – go buffet style wherever possible to ease the stress of catering to any fussy eaters.
An example meal plan for Christmas Day could include;
Breakfast Buffet– A choice of croissants and cereals with homemade apple and pecan muffins.
Christmas Lunch – Roast chicken with roasted rosemary potatoes, asparagus and green beans, carrot and coriander mash, sage and onion stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and red onion gravy.
Evening Nibbles – A selection of cold meats and freshly carved tiger bread with butter together with an assortment of cheeses and biscuits. Nuts, crisps and chocolates in good supply!
The meal plan will go a long way in helping you plan your food shopping for the day and setting the expectations of guests on what will be provided for them. To save buying a whole host of alcohol that will sit around for months after, ask guests what their favourite tipple is and buy this in.
Remember, the key to a great Christmas dining experience is based on two things; creativity and good planning. Checklists will go a long way in making sure you are as well organised as possible and creativity will mean that you can impress and entertain guests to the point where, if a few roast potatoes do end up on the charred side, it’s not going to be the thing guests remember!
Thanks to Metro Furniture for this post!