Christmas is a great time of year to enjoy yourself, visiting family and attending parties. However, Christmas can be a really tough measure of your organisational skills, especially if you are hosting extended family in your home for a period of time. Aside from making sure each meal is prepared, finding space for everyone to sleep, hiding the gifts for stockings and placing them by the end of the bed – all without waking the kids – can be exhausting.
Everyone within the family will have different preferences and tastes – and that’s before you consider family members who have allergies or vegan diets. Catering for everyone while hosting a fun event can be difficult, which is why many have decided to book with restaurants for their Christmas meal. Whether you are cooking yourself or booking a place in a restaurant, here are some key tips for you to remember to ensure your Christmas goes well.
Plan in Advance
Planning your Christmas well in advance and making focused preparations will, more than anything else, help ensure that your Christmas day goes well.
- Schedule – Making sure that everyone knows where they need to be and when is crucial to ensure that everything you have planned runs smoothly. Often, having a big family holiday and inviting everyone who is available to travel to the host’s house to pitch in for the run-up to Christmas Day, can help reduce the pressure on the main host.
- Travel – Trying to minimize the amount of travel that is needed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will keep the mood light and pleasant. If a few family members turn up an hour late to Christmas dinner due to traffic, it will certainly bring the mood down. If driving could become a problem, travelling by train can be a great alternative which is often faster and can cause less stress.
- Accommodation – With traffic heavy on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day itself, it can be better to encourage people to stay for a few nights prior to Christmas Day. If you are hosting for an extended amount of time this Christmas and don’t have space in your home for everyone, reaching out to local hotels can help ensure everyone has a pleasant stay.
- Time – Having guests over for Christmas Day can be stressful, but are they going to head back straight away? Often during Christmas family members will come together to celebrate for weeks at a time, and finding accommodation options for that eventuality should be managed quite a while in advance.
- Drinks – Making sure you have a fully stocked drinks cupboard is a must for your Christmas celebration, with a few wines and beers set aside. Making a few Christmas cocktails, like eggnog, is a great way to spice up a Christmas event. In order to have options for everyone, having a few non-alcoholic options such as coke, or a few alcohol-free mock cocktails, will ensure everyone has a delicious drink.
When it comes to Christmas decorations, creating homemade decorations for your house can have a charm that can’t be replicated. Whether it is creating wreaths from plants in your garden or creating baubles stitched out of spare fabric, there are hundreds of ways to give your house a Christmas makeover. It is also important to continue traditions, such as leaving out biscuits and whisky for Father Christmas when he visits your home.
Often decorating your Christmas tree and the rest of the house is a fun family endeavour, with many of the decorations being re-used year after year. Bringing in new items that catch your eye each year can create fantastic memories associated with each of the decorations.
If you are holding your Christmas lunch at a venue, the décor will have been arranged beforehand and often won’t need any additions.
Each year a lot of planning goes into creating a fantastic Christmas feast, but a key point to remember is that you don’t need to do everything yourself. Asking one of your guests to bake and bring along a ham, and another the desserts or a cheese board, can distribute the duties – after all, many hands make light work! Inviting everyone to participate in the creation of your Christmas dinner is a great way to ensure that everyone is invested in the end result.
Cooking for a Christmas meal goes far beyond peeling the veg and preparing the turkey to go into the oven, and arranging a Christmas lunch to remember can be a difficult task. There are many possible options and often a wide range of tastes and dietary requirements to consider for each guest.
For more and more families it is becoming less stressful and more cost effective to eat their Christmas meal at a venue rather than spending most of their Christmas morning cooking it themselves. If you are planning on eating at a restaurant rather than at home, make sure to book your place well ahead of Christmas Day to avoid disappointment.
Having a selection of board games and films on hand for quiet moments will help keep the mood happy and upbeat. After a large and delicious Christmas dinner everyone will be feeling sleepy, so putting on a film or playing a round of UNO are perfect ways to keep everyone, including the kids, occupied so that the weary chef can sneak away for a nap.
Whether you decide to cook your Christmas feast at home or to head out to a venue, as long as you end up stuffed with food playing Monopoly or other games in the sitting room at home in the evening, then your Christmas plans can be considered a success.
Here at Salomons Estate we provide a range of services and events over Christmas for our guests to enjoy. If you are interested in a Christmas lunch at Salomons Estate, please contact us here. We would be delighted to discuss our Christmas menu. If you need any more information about our Christmas events, visit the Salomons Estate Christmas page