With Christmas just around the corner, the final preparations are all in hand. If you are having a family Christmas, there is every possibility that your home may be busier than usual, with friends and family dropping by for a visit, or even coming for Christmas Dinner. With all this in mind, you may need to think about the practical – have you got enough plates, wine glasses, enough chairs etc for all the people who are going to be turning up at exactly the same time?
Here are a few of my essential tips garnered from playing Christmas hostess.
Have a good microwave oven
We tend to host a buffet over the Christmas period – usually on Boxing day. This is full of party food which means the conventional oven gets very full. This is where our combination microwave oven comes in useful, both for heating up food and for defrosting bread, chicken and other gourmet treats that will make the buffet special.
There is nothing more embarrassing than running out of plates, or glasses or cutlery when you have guests. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this. You can pick up plain white plates quite inexpensively at places like Asda and Wilkinsons, or go down a more quirky route by sourcing vintage plates, cups and glasses from Charity and junk shops. (Many places actually throw oddments away so you may even get some for free.) Another alternative is to go down the paper plate route – if you are having a party this could be the perfect way to cut down on the washing up too.
It’s that classic from Peter Kay isn’t it, describing the ’emergency chairs’ around the Christmas dinner table, with people all sitting at different heights trying to eat their dinner – cue much hilarity from those in the regular seats. If you do need some extra seats, try to plan ahead and get something that actually fits the height of the table – whether this be a stool, or something that can be folded away after Christmas and stored for the next ’emergency’ situation.
Do you have visitors coming over for Christmas? How many people are around you table on Christmas day?