We’re incredibly lucky to have lots of awesome family so it isn’t very often that the Christmas festivities fall to us. However, when it does I find good planning makes me feel a lot less stressed (even if things don’t go to plan in the end; the first year we hosted Christmas day in our house we ended up having lunch two hours late due to turkey drama).
This year we are fortunate to have an invite to my parents’ for the big day but we’re hosting boxing day instead.
One Pot Cooking
On Christmas Day itself there isn’t much avoiding the roast with all the trimmings (and why would you want to when it’s such an integral part of the festivities?) but for Boxing Day I’m planning to abandon tradition and go for something simple, different and with less washing up, such as a curry with rice, baked potatoes, breads and salad. Making a one-pot dinner like this means less mess (hopefully) and the option for people to serve themselves rather than worrying about getting every item of the roast plated up before it all goes cold. I’m a big fan of massaman curry and will probably be giving this recipe from Jamie Oliver a go – I can make the paste in advance which is really helpful as this is the most labour-intensive part.
Prepare in advance
Just like any other important day, getting as much food and decoration preparation done in advance is always going to make you feel more in control, and allow you to spend more time with your loved ones.
I love browsing Pinterest for yummy seasonal cocktail ideas. A couple of years ago we tried this winter Pimms recipe; this warm, spiced apple juice version of the summer classic really hit the spot and proved you can enjoy Pimms all year round. Here are a few more festive drink ideas I’m desperate to try out:
Santa Claus-Mopolitan from Blue Ribbon Kitchen
Gin & Appletiser from Fuss Free Flavours
Elderflower Prosecco Cocktail from Great British Chefs
A Pretty Christmas Table
Is there anything more inviting than a beautifully decorated Christmas table? I’m not great at interior design of any kind but I’ve certainly been inspired by these awesome and affordable products:
Paperchase Sprout Pegs (for handmade placecards)
Wilkos Christmas Star Tea Light Holder
Not On The High Street Gold Glitter Table Runner
Paperchase Astro Mini Crackers
The Range’s Gold Stars Place Mats
George Metallic Copper Champagne Flutes
Last year I made rocky road for my family and friends. This year I’m hoping to do something similar using Cuddle Fairy’s amazing dark chocolate brownie recipe (I’ve tried this out before and they are quite literally the best I’ve ever tasted). If I can steady my nerves enough I’d also like to try my hand at homemade caramels, like these from Mel’s Kitchen.
Get Out The Games
I’m an enormous fan of games at Christmas time, and find myself quite disappointed if we don’t get around to it – whether your family is into serious card games, competitive Monopoly or energetic Twister it’s a fab way to bond and have fun.
Take the pressure off
Don’t let yourself get too stressed about entertaining. Ultimately, these people are your nearest and dearest and aren’t going to be judging your hostess abilities.