Hosting family and friends this Christmas?
Dealing with the stress of expecting visitors might feel a little bit overwhelming, so we’ve put together a guide to offer some direction. And with UK shoppers expected to spend over £30bn on online retail during Christmas, your bank account might be feeling the strain too.
Keep reading to find out how to keep your head above water through one of the busiest – but most rewarding – times of the year.
Always try to pre-plan! When it eventually comes around, Christmas Day can be extraordinarily busy.
Trying to stay organised and thinking about how the big day might progress will be crucial to minimising your stress. Think of timescales for cooking, eating, opening gifts, and relaxing together.
It could be sensible to write a quick checklist. Some of the most essential items could include:
- Baking paper – for lining trays for mince pies, sausage rolls, and other festive goods
- Extra-wide foil – to cover the big bird
- Place mats – to help your guests get settled at the table
- Christmas crackers
- Freezer bags of all sizes – to keep leftovers fresh
Get the gifts ready
From luxury clothing to chocolate boxes, you’ll need to prepare to wrap and store your presents appropriately. If you have young children, they might be waiting to open a lot of toys.
To add to the excitement on the day, you need to make sure that you’ve inserted the batteries – so that the children can start playing straight away. Before you wrap toys, check if they need bigger batteries like there here or if they run on conventional AA batteries instead.
Inserting batteries could turn into a bit of a DIY project, so make sure you’ve got the right tools around you. Having a screwdriver and a pair of scissors to hand should make it a breeze.
Fill the cupboards
If you’re hosting a large group this year, you’ll need to make sure no one goes hungry. Check that you’ve got all the right food and drink at home to keep different appetites satisfied.
Call your family and friends in advance to see if anyone follows a particular diet or suffers from an allergy. From there, you can choose whether to make all the food suitable for everyone or separate it accordingly.
For example, a traditional buffet might not be the best idea if you have several vegetarians attending. Why not have a go at some mouth-watering cheese and pickle pinwheels instead?
Be a good host
When you’re surrounded by family, you need to be the best host you possibly can be.
Early on Christmas morning, try to take some time for yourself. Whether you start the day with a frosty walk, a fresh coffee, or a facemask, taking some time to relax before the chaos ensues will help you be a better host. Then, you can turn your attention to planning games and activities.
Don’t place too many expectations on yourself. If things don’t go to plan in the kitchen, you can still share a wonderful time at Christmas.