There is only 7 sleeps until the jolly fat man slides down the chimney and another crazy day of eating, visiting, laughing and celebrating is up on us.
For most of us there is an element of stress involved in the lead up to the big day. As kids it’s pretty easy to remain oblivious to the behind the scenes madness that crescendos into pretty much the most magical day of the year, but as a grown up, there is definitely some logistics planning, some familial negotiation and a few ‘deep breath’ moments as we tick off lists and mentally run through last minute plans.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be a headache inducing exercise to host a perfectly memorable Christmas event at your place. Sovereign’s new mantra is Life.Take.Charge and it can and should be applied to every aspect of your life. Given the silly season that we are currently immersed in, it’s worth applying here too, ensuring happiness for everyone on Christmas Day.
Here’s a few ways to ensure your hosting of the special day is an easy, breezy and enjoyable experience for everyone, including the host/hostess.
1. Plan an achievable Menu
Although there is pressure to keep Grandma happy with the full roast lunch spread, there is a lot of work involved and not a lot of reward for the ones slaving in the kitchen from the crack of dawn. Put together a menu that includes local specialities, some seafood if possible and lots of fresh salads. Choose one labour intensive item such as a ham or turkey – not both!
Have everyone attending your lunch or dinner bring something. You don’t need to make the entire meal yourself. After putting pen to paper to design an achievable, delicious meal, then delegate a dish to each party attending. Not everyone in the family is Martha Stewart or Josh Emett, so let them bring the beverages, or some packaged goodies for coffee & tea time. Sabato, Nosh and Farro Fresh have a wonderful selection of packaged goodies that are every bit as special as a home baked treat.
3. Keep your Table setting simple
Perusing Pinterest will see you a frazzled mess, so I suggest you don’t do that. If you want to step it up from Christmas-themed napkins and crackers at each place setting, choose simple butchers paper to line the table, use a black marker to label each setting with your guests name and add a simple accent such as a pinecone or sea shell. This adorably simple but stunning table setting above is from the immeasurably talented Mel from All the Frills.
4. Have your Kitchen ready
Ensure your dishwashers are empty before guests arrive so that someone with initiative can jump up from the table following the meal and begin loading the machine without the hassle or having to unload it first and trying to figure out where everything lives. Having a clear bench space also allows those bringing contributions to the spread to add any last minute touches or chop up a final ingredient here and there without feeling like they are intruding.
5. Create Ambiance
Burning Christmas scented candles, like my favourite from Ecoya, or this other fave and playing some light festive music in the background ensures your scene is beautifully set for a special Christmas celebration.
6. Finish it off positively un-Christmassy
A perfect end to a family-style celebration is to pull out the old some family videos or photos, to break out a board game and a bottle of port to finish the night in lighthearted fun. If Christmas is too stuffy and traditional, it gets boring for everyone, so break out the popcorn and a favourite movie suitable for the whole family such as Home Alone, and kick off your shoes and enjoy.
How do you keep Christmas stress-free?
This post has been sponsored by Sovereign