Tips for Hosting Christmas for the Very First Time
And how to make sure it’s a stress-free and smooth (sleigh) ride all the way
16 December 2019
All Credits: PA
If ever there was a time to shine, it’s Christmas – from the twinkly star on the top of the tree and the snowglobe on the side, to the celebratory bubbly waiting to kick-start the festivities and the crowd-pleasing feast.
But what if it’s all down to you to put the fizz into the merrymaking, provide the crackers and keep your uncles from fighting? Hosting can be a tough gig, especially if it’s your first time running Christmas.
Well, fear not. We’ve chatted with Santa’s little helpers and made a list to help you do all the trimmings to a T…
1. Set the scene
Make sure the table setting looks fabulously festive (a red table runner always screams Crimbo), the string of Christmas tree lights is burning bright and you’ve moved all the greeting cards to a cosy corner – there’s nothing more tiresome than having them knocked over.
2. Safety first with fragrance
Scented candles are a godsend when it comes to atmosphere, and who doesn’t love the waft of winter spice and cinnamon gently filling the air? But if you’re expecting little ones, make sure they’re at shoulder height.
3. Have a spare vase to hand
You’ve probably filled every vessel with red berries and amaryllis, but chances are you’ll be gifted a bunch of flowers – which you’ll need to deal with quickly if you’re short on time and space.
5. Prep as much as you can the night before
While you’ll probably be wanting to curl up on the sofa with a glass of Baileys and a mince pie, you should be in the kitchen peeling the potatoes and Brussels sprouts, sorting through the sauces, crisps and dips and checking the cheeseboard. Feel free to rope in family members!
6. Buy the basics
You’ve ticked all the yummy fun bits off the shopping list, stocked up on canapes and have enough Quality Street to sweeten the in-laws, but what about the black garbage bags for all the non-recyclable waste? Paper towels for spills? And enough ice to build a snowman?
7. Consider clever fridge management
No doubt the fridge is full and shelves are bowing under the weight of all the deliciousness that’s about to unfold. And the door so crammed, it can’t chill any more bottles. But this is when the bathtub is your best friend… fill it with those bags of ice (save some behind for cocktails) and all your beer, wines and sparkle will be chilled to perfection.
9. Don’t scrimp on the drinks and food
The worst thing a host can do, especially with the booze, is run short, so always over cater. Better to have too much than too little and there’s plenty of time in that no man’s land between Christmas and New Year to make the most of any leftovers.