“Christmas is coming; the geese are getting fat.” This start of a classic nursery rhyme conjures up images of a groaning dinner table, log fires and frost and snow on the ground. And whether you have a goose, a turkey or something else for your Yuletide meal there are some simple ways to host the perfect Christmas dinner.
It doesn’t have to be stressful and if you plan things well, you’ll not only give your guests a memorable experience but also end the event without being frazzled.
Here are some tips to help you along:
1. Organise your menus in good time
Don’t leave everything till the last minute – organise so you are in complete control. Once you know how many you’re catering for draw up both food and drinks menus. If you’re a whizz in the kitchen then you can be inventive with the food you’re going to provide, but if you’re a bit more cautious then stick to what you’re comfortable with. Brand new, untested recipes might be fun but can add unnecessary stress to your preparations.
2. Dress your table attractively
Christmas is such a special occasion that you need an elegant and luxurious feel to your table decorations. With your room decorations, it’s traditional to use greens, gold and reds for ornaments and your tree, but you can be inventive with colour too, accenting with blues, oranges and cream. Add little touches to the table, mirroring the colours in your room decor but again using accents for a floral centrepiece and with a festive tablecloth and attractive mats.
3. The finest tableware
Bring out the best of your crockery so everyone can see you’re making this a very special occasion. Silver cutlery adds to that sense of occasion and use silver or gold candlesticks for your Christmas candles. Glassware is also important, from aperitifs through champagne and wine glasses to whisky and digestif glasses to round off the celebratory family meal. High-quality Dartington Crystal glasses add a touch of class to the dining table and are an ideal complement to your family porcelain.
4. Plan your drinks offer
Champagne and wine are usually fixtures at Christmas dinner and bringing out a special whisky, brandy or port to round things off will always be appreciated. Remember, though, that young guests will need non-alcoholic drinks as will adults who prefer soft drinks and those who will be driving home.
5. Family entertainment
Draw up a festive playlist that can be pleasant listening in the background without being intrusive. With family and friends together, use this once in a year opportunity to play games rather than sinking down to watch the TV. Christmas is about friendship, so it’s worth making an effort to bring people closer together by having fun and a good laugh.
6. Enjoy the day
Hosting a perfect family Christmas dinner should be fun for you, not a chore, and with family support with all preparations and, crucially, help with the washing up later, you’ll provide all your guests with a very pleasant occasion at this festive time of year.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.