How to Make Your Christmas Lunch the Best One Yet!
Christmas can be the best of times – and the craziest of times. You have the joy of opening presents and celebrating with family but you also have the stress of last minute shopping, spending a fortune, cooking for the masses, eating too much and trying to coordinate family logistics on Christmas Day.
If you have put your hand up to host Christmas lunch at your place this year, here are a few handy hints to ensure it will be one family and friends will never forget (for all the RIGHT reasons)!
1. Plan in advance
As painful as it sounds, precision planning is your best chance of making it through Christmas Day relatively unscathed. Plan your menu and food shopping in advance. Itemise every item for each dish on your shopping list and don’t leave it to the last minute. Buy as many non-perishable grocery items as early as you can because food shopping in the days before Christmas is utter chaos. Order your seafood or specialty meats in advance to ensure you don’t miss out.
2. Throw tradition out the window
Christmas Day in Australia can often be sweltering so why make it worse by slaving over a hot oven? There is no reason why you can’t break tradition and enjoy Christmas your own way. So many modern homes have beautiful gardens with outdoor gourmet kitchens, pizzas ovens and serveries so why not use them to your advantage? Plan a menu that uses amazing fresh produce and can be cooked outdoors so you can enjoy the morning with family and friends in the warm summer sunshine.
3. Divide and conquer
Just because you are hosting Christmas lunch doesn’t mean all the expense and pressure of cooking Christmas lunch should rest squarely on your shoulders, particularly if you have a large family. Most people understand the stress of organising Christmas lunch and will always be happy to help so if the opportunity arises – divide and conquer! If you have planned well in advance, you will be able to allocate a job or a dish to every member of the family. This will relieve the stress and time pressures so use it to your advantage.
4. Make life easy for yourself
Christmas is a day to be enjoyed, not spent rushing around like a madman, so if there are any shortcuts you can take to make life easier for yourself – do it. Using disposable cups, plates, cutlery and baking trays should always be avoided where possible due to environmental considerations but if it saves you five hours of dishes in the evening, Christmas Day could be your one exception. There are plenty of affordable and attractive disposable options on the market so you don’t need to compromise style for convenience.
Image via Pinterest.
5. Put the kids in charge of decorations
We all wish our table decorations looked like the ones in the Christmas features of the glossy magazines but it’s not always that easy to achieve (without plenty of time and money). So this year, why not put the kids in charge of decorations? Armed with the right craft items, they can create a homemade set of crackers, write the nametags for the table and put their own creative spin on the table centrepieces. It will create a truly unique and memorable table which is what Christmas is all about!
6. Use Christmas Eve to your advantage
One of the best ways to ease the pressure on your Christmas day is to use Christmas Eve to your advantage and get as many jobs completed in advance as possible. Set the table, sweep your outdoor area, clean the pool, blow up the pool toys, clear space in the fridge, prepare the salads, buy the alcohol and ice bags, wash the eskies and get your Christmas desserts ready.
7. Claim Boxing Day for yourself!
It doesn’t matter if you are hosting a Christmas lunch for three or 30 people – it is always a hectic day that is bound to leave you feeling exhausted so make sure you claim Boxing Day as your own! The last thing you want to do is rush around on Boxing Day so keep the calendar free and decide what you want to do on the day. You might feel like a lazy day down the beach or you can relax in the pool with an icy cold beer or a glass of champagne.
On the other hand, if your Christmas lunch was a screaming success and you are feeling brave (and possibly just a little bit mad), you can always invite everyone back to your place to do it all again and help you clear your fridge from leftovers!
Just remember, Christmas is all about giving plus spending quality time with friends and family. So wherever you are or whatever you do, it doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun!