Does the thought of having everyone around to your place for Christmas make you break out in a sweat? To find out how to host Christmas lunch (and actually enjoy it!) I recently caught up with Emma Rosen, Director of Party Affairs – Australia’s biggest and best online party and event planning directory. With a little bit of pre-planning and Emma’s super handy tips, your day will be stress free. Trust me!
1. Create a plan
First, determine whether you want a traditional, sit-down lunch or something more casual, like a BBQ or seafood buffet. Once you’ve decided what kind of lunch you’re going to host, you can fill in the blanks, determine a time, guest list, décor, and menu.
2. Decorate With Gusto
Christmas is the one time of the year that it’s hard to go over the top with decorations, so decorate to your heart’s content! Bon bons, bells, Christmas trees and candles all add to the atmosphere. Christmas-themed place cards and table decorations make the lunch feel festive. But you don’t have to be too traditional or literal, either. If you’re near the beach, you might like to stick to a more pared-back coastal theme and incorporate shells into your styling, or spray paint driftwood in chic silver.
3. DIY Drinks
Set up a separate station (in another room or area if possible) for ice cold drinks. Stock it with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage choices, ice, cocktail napkins, and appropriate glassware. This will mean guests can help themselves and are not getting underfoot in the kitchen.
4. Get Personal
Having a pre-arranged Secret Santa is a great way to add to the Christmas atmosphere. Suggest that this year everyone has to make their SS gift. It adds a personalised touch and means you really think about what you give the recipient.
5. Create a Playlist
Nothing says Christmas like Mariah Carey! No seriously, Christmas is a great time to visit the classics and have some fun with the playlist. A great play list peppered with a few Christmas hits is a fun way to keep everyone in the spirit of the holiday.
6. Prep Your Heart Out And Ask For Help
Do as much as you can in advance, especially when it comes to cooking. It’s Christmas – you want to be with your family, not spend the whole day slaving away in the kitchen. Ask for help where you need it and, if you know cousin Sarah is a whiz with pavlova, ask her to bring one! As tempting as it can be to try and wow your crowd, you’re much better off sticking to dishes you know you can nail. A seafood Christmas with lots of yummy salads and cold desserts can save a lot of last-minute kitchen disasters.
7. Over Cater
It might seem like enough to feed an army, but don’t skimp on food! There can never be too many Christmas left overs!
What are your tips for a stress-free Christmas lunch?