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  1. #1
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    Default Hosting Xmas - hints and tips!

    Hey ladies
    I'm hosting Xmas lunch at my place this year and I would love your best hints and tips for having a fun stress free day! I have it quiet easy as everyone brings something so I'm just doing roast pork, roast vegies and steamed vegies. I really want to have everything set up to look festive, we will be setting up the tables in our rather unattractive sunroom so also any tips for decorating and making it all beautiful! I'm sure this thread can help lots of us that will be hosting

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    Pick a colour theme of one or two main colours and a nice accent and run with it. It makes it classy and elegant to limit it to one nice theme.

    Fairy lights are a great festive way of distracting the eye away from festy decor (not saying yours is festy lol).

    Using charger plates (nice coloured plates that only have one job of adding colour to a tablescape) is a great way of adding colour without clutter. They just sit under the dinner plates for each course. I looked them up on eBay a few days ago and you can get plastic ones that look realistic for a good price.

    Pinterest is your friend! Use that as inspiration for Christmas tablescapes and copy what you will. Sure, a lot will be American or European with their White Christmas stuff, but if you are good with search terms there is a lot of Aussie stuff to be found.

    Prep your veggies and things the day before and keep them in water with a little bit of lemon juice to stop them browning.

    I think that's all I've got right now, dd has decided to start hitting her brothers so my train of thought has gone.

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    Argh hosting my first Christmas this year need all the tips I can get!!
    We have a half menu done - individual pavs and cheesecake for dessert with fresh fruit platter.
    Mains will be bbq stuff so we are doing chicken/beef/veggie skewers all prepped the day before. Pasta and potato salad done the day before and on the day of will just do the fresh salads (normal garden and a tabouli). Entrees I'm still a bit stuck on. MIL is bringing a ham and my dad will bring prawns for everyone.

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    Definitely have a browse of Pinterest! I have gotten so many ideas from there for Christmas- it was hard to pick a colour scheme. Lol. Lots of DIY ideas and cheap ideas 👍🏻

    As for food prep- you could peel the veggies in advance then put them in a ziplock bag covered in olive oil and herbs and then store them in the fridge until you have to cook them.

    If you are doing dessert maybe look at buying pre made things instead of cooking. Coles have some really nice puddings this year and I know they sell pavlova cakes ready to be decorated. Just buy some custard and icecream to have with it.

    Also don't be afraid to suggest dishes for your guests to bring to lunch. Some people don't know what to bring so if you have a salad or something in mind maybe you could mention it to them

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    When we have big groups I usually set the table the night before. It always takes longer than I think so it's nice to have wake up knowing I only have food to do.

    Vases filled with Christmas baubles make nice centrepieces but like everyone said check out Pinterest.

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    I love hosting Christmas!!!! How many people are you having? I usually use 2 skinny trestle tables (from Bunnings) for seating- then I have a separate table for the food (so its all laid out like a buffet, with all the condiments too- from bread, to cold food to hot food) and a separate table for drinks and glasses and water jugs (with ice filled eskies underneath) so people can help themselves. I decorate table and have it all set up the night before. Food wise, I usually do all the food myself (and delegate a few dishes)- start with oysters, cheeses, etc, then the more formal sit down meal- cold seafood, cold leg ham, hot turkey, traditional potato salad, etc etc. Then pudding and mini pavs and tiramisu for dessert. tiramisu is great as it can be made the day before.

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    I hosted part of Xmas last year 3 months after having DS in the midst of pnd and anxiety! It wasn't pretty!
    I salute anyone having a go!
    My tips:
    Keep it simple. Especially if it's your first time. It is NOT the time to pull out that Donna Hay Christmas book and try to recreate everything first try!
    Choose one or two signature things you cook well.
    If all else fails - tinsel the sh!t out of the place! Christmas is meant to be slightly tacky IMO!
    Make as much in advance as possible. It really is about the company. You don't want to be tied to the kitchen and not spending time with people!
    Pinterest is your friend but don't let it psyche you out. Not everyone's Christmas table looks like that!

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    Do all the food prep the night before. Peel potatoes and cover them in water the night before. Wash and peel and cut up all other veggies. Write a list of what time things need to go on. Cook anything on the BBQ you can. Soooo much easier. We did ham on the BBQ and pork on the webber. Let people bring things. Anything you need to buy on the day (rolls and ice) can be bought by someone else who is coming. You don't want to have to go out in the morning.

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    Get a couple of boxes and store them out of the way - one for gifts, one for table decorations, one for long-life food. Whenever you have something to add put it in the right box then you wont be searching for stuff at the last minute and doing additional trips to the shops because someone's eaten/used your supplies.

    Lists, lists, lists - down to individual ingredients, or get an app like shopshop to sort into different shops/long life/day before.

    I like Martha Stewart for ideas - quite northern-hemisphere but there are some good ideas and instructions on how to make. Personalise as much as possible - create your own crackers and print the 'jokes' (and I use the term very loosely) and instead of "why did the man ..." use "why did Uncle Tim ..."

    Good luck!

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