Hosting family on Christmas Day? Three tips to help it go smoothly
Hosting brings with it a lot of responsibilities. Whether it’s having the neighbours over for drinks or putting on a children’s birthday party, a lot of thought goes into prepping your surroundings for the occasion – and even more so on Christmas Day, one of the biggest days of the year.
Preparing for Christmas Day requires heaps of effort, especially when you’re the one hosting everybody else at your house.
In fact, a recent campaign by retailer Next found that in December 2018 alone, 110 people Googled the phrase “how to tell the family you’re not hosting Christmas” – an increase of 100% from the year before!
Nevertheless, Steph Baker of events company Eventa says that hosting an unforgettable family Christmas doesn’t need to be overly expensive or extravagant. “Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones and enjoying a day that’s filled with delicious food and fun.”
If you do find yourself playing host on Christmas Day, with a house filled with tipsy adults and kids high on sugar, we’ve come up with three top tips for making sure the day runs smoothly.
Tip 1: Plan everything in advance
If you haven’t got a plan in place or a checklist printed, you may end up forgetting to do or buy important things. If you want your Christmas Day to run smoothly, plan ahead several weeks in advance so you know when to tackle each task – from prepping the table display to picking out a turkey.
It’s a good idea to order the turkey as soon as you can and stock up on veg and trimmings a few days before the big day to ensure they stay fresh. When it comes to drinks, you can buy these a few weeks in advance as they won’t go off and can be stored in the garage if you haven’t got space in the fridge.
On Christmas Day itself, create an itinerary (it sounds pedantic, but it’ll really help!) so you know what to put in the oven when and what to prep first. The Internet is a treasure trove for this kind of thing – there are printable checklists and resources galore that’ll help you structure your day and stop you from forgetting anything.
We recommend doing the bulk of your prep before the guests arrive so you have time to mingle with them when they get there.
Tip 2: Make sure you have more than you need
If you’re ever unsure whether you’ve got enough of something, err on the side of caution and buy more than you need. Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry after all – so you’ll want to be generous with the top ups!
Nothing should go to waste; anything leftover can be eaten or drunk a few days after. Alternatively, find a food bank or donate your leftovers to the homeless. This could even include unwanted gifts (let’s face it, there’s always a couple).
Tip 3: Seek help from others
Although you’re the host, there’s absolutely no reason for you to do everything on the day. Cooking, in particular, will be the most time-consuming activity. Steph suggests: “If you’re the host and find cooking the entire festive meal stressful, then why not allocate a starter, side or dessert option to each adult in the family? Not only will it ease the pressure of cooking on the host, but it’s a great way to get other members of the family involved in the Christmas lunch or dinner.”
It definitely shouldn’t fall to one person to do the bulk of the cooking – this is certainly not the case in presenter Emma Willis’ household:
“Christmas lunch is an all hands on deck affair. Everybody kind of chips in to help out with the cooking, but it's just traditional turkey roast.”
And when it comes to tidying up, it’s totally fine to accept help from a couple of your guests if they offer.
We hope we’ve given you some tips for hosting a great Christmas Day. Want to have a giggle at more of Next’s campaign findings? Have a look at some of the nation’s funny Google searches here.