It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. That means it’s time to start preparing for all of the fun holiday activities that happen during this time. From family parties to work parties to get togethers with your friends this season is packed with so many activities. If you find yourself hosting a party this year this list is for you. Below are a few tips and tricks on how to host the ultimate Christmas dinner. This guide can help everyone whether you’re a seasoned pro at throwing holiday bashes or you’re just stepping up to the plate for the first time. Throwing a Christmas dinner can be daunting, but nothing impossible.
Figure Out A Menu
If you’re throwing a Christmas dinner this is the most important aspect of the party. You’re going to want to plan the menu before anything else. Decide what kind of dinner you’re going to have, whether it’s a simple meal with some appetizers and dessert or something more extravagant. Plus figuring out a menu ahead of time will also give you a chance to try recipes out before the party even happens. Have you never made creme brulee but really want to serve it at your party? Try making it well before your party, you don’t want to play guessing game in the kitchen while your guests are sitting outside waiting for their meal. It also gives you the ability to plan a menu around people with potential allergies. This way no one accidentally eats nuts when they shouldn’t have.
Start Decorating Early
Nothing sounds worse than spending the hours leading up to your party frantically putting up decorations and cleaning your guest bathroom. You don’t need to set everything out like fresh flowers or the plate settings days in advance but everything out you can do the week of. If you want a tree up and decorated do that a few days before the party so that way it can be an enjoyable experience. Or if you have a specific playlist in mind to play at the party set that up in advance. Even plan your outfit early, try it on and find something you love instead of scrambling the day of.
If this is your first Christmas dinner party you might want to go all out except more doesn’t always mean better. Doing too much and going over the top can completely stress you out and ruin the experience. Dinner parties can also get expensive really fast if you’re not careful. While magazine spreads and Pinterest photos might be the goal sometimes that isn’t realistic and that’s okay. Don’t create the idea of what you think a good Christmas dinner would be, instead be realistic. If you can’t afford something that’s fine, your guests are coming to celebrate with you not judge your decor and menu.
Lean Into What You Excel At
Being a good hostess doesn’t mean you have to be good at everything. If you can’t cook to save your life but can decorate a room like it’s nobody’s business than focus on the latter. Consider having your dinner catered so you can focus on what you’re actually good at rather than risking a disaster by trying to do everything yourself. Catering can be expensive and if that’s not something possible consider throwing a potluck dinner instead. Provide a pre-made vegetable or lunch meat platter along with the utensils and leave the rest up to your guests. Just make sure if you go that route to have people tell you what you’re bringing so that way everyone won’t bring a dip and you’re stuck without an entree.
If you’re going to want fresh flowers as a centerpiece you’re going to want to make sure fresh flowers will be available the day of the party. Don’t expect or hope for things to fall into place, take actions towards making sure things will happen. If something isn’t a sure thing, like a specific wine or needing a certain amount of ice, make plans for them to be sure. Order ahead so that way you can pick these items up or have them delivered the day of the party.
Give Yourself Time
The day of the Christmas dinner can be hectic, which is why it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to get everything done. You don’t want to be chained to the kitchen while your guests are having a good time because you didn’t give yourself enough time to cook everything. Christmas dinner can be complicated because the usual food eaten for this holiday takes a decent amount of time to prepare and if you put it off to the last minute you could even run the risk of it not being prepared at all. The day of the party your focus should be on cooking and getting ready yourself. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do those things.
While time management is your best friend when it comes to planning a Christmas dinner party you’re still going to want to be flexible. Things happen; food burns, decorations fall down, and drinks get spilled. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world by any means. Also Christmas time is very busy for many people, so there might be a chance that your 18 person meal quickly dwindles down to 12 without a good notice, and that’s okay. It can be easy to stew on the imperfections of a Christmas dinner but that’s not what the party is for. Your friends will probably understand if you’re a little stressed but don’t let mishaps get you down. At worst it’s a teaching moment of what to do next year and at best it’s something you and your guests can laugh at.
If you’re upset and on edge odds are so are your guests. When all is said and done and the party is in full swing what matters most, besides making sure your guests don’t get food poisoning, is having fun. It’s important to be present and attentive to your guests. Your guests will be impressed at your ability to let your hair down at your own party.