Are you a new home owner? You’re probably excited to be hosting your very first family get-together at Christmas. While it can seem a little overwhelming, there are a few key tips which will ensure your Christmas celebrations go over smoothly.
1. Choose your entertaining spaces wisely
If you’ve only recently moved into your new home, you might still be a little unfamiliar with entertaining in it, and even with cooking for guests in your new kitchen. If you’re preparing a traditional roast meal with all the trimmings, it’s likely that you’ll be spending a large amount of your day in the kitchen. You’ll also no doubt have friends or family members wanting to give you a hand. Have a think about whether you want your guests to mingle outside on your patio, away from the kitchen, or whether it’s worthwhile having them nearby so you don’t miss out on the festivities. Then, simply set up your entertaining area accordingly, including decorating your designated space and perhaps preparing some drinks and snacks in advance.
2. Clear away any clutter
It’s unlikely that you’re going to have time to use your juicer, your smoothie maker or your bread maker while you’re preparing the Christmas meal, so be sure to clear away unnecessary items to give yourself more space to work with.
3. Timing is everything
Preparing a meal for the whole family means you’ll have to juggle multiple dishes in the oven. Overcrowding your oven can mean that nothing cooks properly, so be sure to prepare as much in advance as you can. Roasting your vegetables the night before so that all they need is a quick reheat while your turkey is resting can save a lot of heartache on the big day.
4. Keep it simple
Christmas is probably not the time to be trying out a recipe you’ve never cooked before, so when it comes to planning your Christmas Day meal, keeping it simple is a good idea. If you’re determined to try something new, however, ensure you’ve given yourself enough preparation time. Also, be sure that you’ve tested out your new oven before the day, just in case it runs hotter or colder than your last one.
5. Consider an Aussie-style BBQ, seafood lunch, and cold cuts
Despite the extreme temperatures that we experience across Australia during the Christmas holidays, many of us are still tempted to opt for the traditional roast meal. Not only does this make the kitchen even hotter and harder to work in, it’s time and space consuming. Have you considered hosting a more Aussie-style BBQ, seafood lunch or offering a range of cold cuts? This could save you time, keep the house much cooler, and give you more time to spend with your guests.
6. Try internet shopping
One of the most harrowing tasks of the Christmas season is the shopping – both for the groceries and for gifts. The shopping centres are crowded, there can be a lack of groceries on the shelves, and inevitably, something is forgotten and a second or third trip is needed. Shopping online for your groceries, from the comfort of your new home, can save you a great deal of time and hassle. Sitting down with a cup of tea, your shopping list, and a laptop is one way to reduce the stress at this time of year. Another options is to order your groceries in advance, which many of your smaller local suppliers will happily do. Then, all you need to do is pick them up on Christmas Eve, and you’re all set for the feast.
7. Clear out the fridge
Of course, there’s no point buying all of that food if you’ve got no place to put it! Before your groceries arrive, be sure to give the fridge and freezer a good cleaning out. Keep in mind, you’re also likely to have leftovers after the big event, and they’ll need a home in the fridge too. While you’re at it, give your cupboards a bit of a clear-out as well.
8. Prepare the table the night before
You might think you’ve got plenty of time for cooking and decorating on the day, but save yourself the hassle just in case by preparing your dining and entertaining areas the night before. If you’re putting out snacks and drinks, have these ready to go in the fridge or cupboard on Christmas Eve, so it’s as simple as pulling them out when your guests start to arrive.
9. Take a minute to get festive
Be sure to give yourself enough time to take a break from preparations to get dressed in your festive gear (lest you still be wearing your Santa pyjamas when your guests arrive) and take regular breaks throughout the day to mingle with your guests and enjoy yourself. After all, your friends and family have come to celebrate with you! Don’t hide away in the kitchen all day.
Hosting Christmas celebrations for the first time is incredibly exciting, but can also be a little daunting. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Being prepared in advance will give you more time to enjoy the day.
From the whole team at Villaworld Homes, we wish you a Merry Christmas in your new home, and a Happy New Year!