With Christmas just around the corner you would be forgiven for feeling dread rather than excitement. But never fear, here are some top tips from entertaining goddess, Christina Batista, to make your Christmas Day run as smoothly as possible.
Christmas can often bring a lot of stress, as well as joy. There’s a lot of pressure to make the day perfect, especially if you’re hosting for the very first time.
Here are my top 5 tips to help you be the host with the most!
1) Get Organised
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about the look and feel of your Christmas celebrations. What I like to do is decide on what sort of food I’m going to have and then the rest falls into place. Once you have your menu planned out think about what you can buy now e.g. crackers, frozen peas or canned beans leaving only the fresh stuff for that last minute Christmas grocery shop. You can also start buying any decorations, tablecloths or plates now to save yourself time closer to Christmas. Not only will this ease stress it will also save you money, as you’re able to buy stuff when they are on special.
2) Keep It Simple
We’re all guilty of over complicating our Christmas menus because we want the day to be perfect. Honestly the perfect Christmas Day is one that everyone experiences together, which means not one person slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else goes hungry waiting for the turkey to cook! Why not make use of all the amazing seafood we have in Australia and plan a seafood spread for your Christmas Day?
3) Feed People As They Arrive
Make sure you have nibbles for your guests to snack on when they arrive, this way you have a little extra time up your sleeve to organise any last minute finishing touches. I like to organise some dips with crackers and crudités (baby carrots and celery sticks work well) for when people arrive, these can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge so all I have to do is arrange them on a pretty platter. You can add some cold cut meats and gourmet cheeses for a more filling snack.
4) Buy Extra Gifts
It doesn’t matter how organised you think you are, there will be someone that you either forget to buy for or who will turn up unexpectedly. There is nothing worse then when that person gives you a gift and you’re left empty-handed because you just simply forgot, and who can blame you? You’ve been running around like a headless chicken organising everything for Christmas at your place. This has happened to me in the past, and it threw me for the rest of the day. From that moment on everything went wrong and I promised myself never again! What I do is bake a big batch of biscotti (which lasts months) and fill jars from the bargain store with them as gifts for family and friends and I always fill four extra jars for such embarrassing moments. If you don’t need them that’s fine, you now have a great snack to munch at the end of the day!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Christmas is a very stressful time of the year, and trust me when I tell you that family and friends will be more than happy to help you out. Ask everyone to bring a side dish (make sure you ask what they are bringing so you’re not left with five different potato salads) and that way you only have to concentrate on one or two dishes rather than a whole buffet. And don’t be afraid to take short cuts in your menu too. Don’t have time to make dip? Buy it! Can’t make dessert? Buy a pre-made meringue and top it with fresh fruit and cream for an instant dessert.
Christmas is a time of joy, it’s the one day of the year that you can sit back and reflect on the year that’s passed with loved ones. It’s the one day where it’s totally acceptable to eat far too much and fall into a food coma, only to be woken by dessert. So plan ahead, delegate and enjoy the day!
Here are some of my favourite festive recipes for you to enjoy:
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
Get more tips and recipes from Christina at christinabatista.com.au