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  1. #11
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    I am hosting Christmas for the second time. Why i said I would I do not know!!
    I am a big fan of making lists and doing prep work the day before.
    This year I am going down the convenient route and have gotten some really nice paper plates and bowels as I dont want to deal with a mountain of dishes.

  2. #12
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    Loving all these ideas! Ok I definitely am sticking with just 2 colours and an accent, might go red/green/gold. We have lots of thick white curtains up in the sunroom, they aren't in the best condition so I need a cheap way to make them a bit less ugly, I might give fairy lights a try but will be daytime so not sure they will be as effective. I made one of those tassel garlands for DD's birthday party and it was so pretty, might attempt one in Xmas colours, but it would need to be about 10 metres long!

    Will definitely be prepping as much as possible the night before so I can enjoy Xmas morning with DD. I hate cooking pork roasts as I always seem to stuff up the timing, everything else is ready and the pork isn't! I'm going to do 2 porks, 1 pulled in the slow cooker, the other in the oven, so hopefully doing 2 smaller instead of 1 huge fixes that!

    Last year we had Xmas at MIL's tiny apartment with 13 adults crammed inside. We had to get there at 4pm and dinner was served at 9pm and there were NO nibbles, and MIL got so stressed that she screamed at all of us to '***** off!'....so as long as I avoid that it's an improvement right?!

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  4. #13
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    Default Hosting Xmas - hints and tips!

    we hosted Xmas dinner for about 14 last year. my tips:

    plan a theme. ours was a flamingo themed Xmas (random I know but I can't stand the usual Santa, red/green/gold aesthetic and I thought something quirky might be cute/fun. we bought some plastic pink flamingos that go in the garden and put a heap of white fairy lights up. we also had a pink flamingo themed non-alc punch in one of those glass drink dispensers)

    food. we just picked a few fun/fave dishes that weren't too complicated to make. we had a buffet style and laid all the food out on our kitchen table and people served themselves. we had seats around the room and some outside but it got cold quite early so everyone ended up indoors. we didn't do the traditional turkey/Xmas dinner. instead we did a seafood paella, mac & cheese, little beef sliders, some salads and a few other tasty bits and bobs. was more appropriate to buffet style dining and we felt a lot of people probably had the usual Xmas fare at lunch so dinner was something different.

    weather. if you're in a changeable climate (hello Melbourne), plan for indoors/outdoors or have a bad weather contingency plan. no use assuming it'll be warm then scrabbling to get guests indoor seating as its started to rain. that will just add stress to the day.

    drinks. we had those black IKEA tubs/buckets set up with ice as drink stations so we weren't having to serve people drinks. plus the punch in the drink dispenser on the outside table.

    gifts. we did a family KK after dinner. everyone got a gift and it was easy to organise and fun to have everyone open a gift etc.

    servingware. as we don't have enough plates etc to cater to 14, we bought some nice bamboo plates and bowls (felt a bit nicer than plain paper plates) and some nice wooden/bamboo cutlery. was easy as it reduced on washing up and you could just throw your plate away after you were done.

    we did ask guests to bring a plate of food. some were allocated entrees/nibbles, others did desserts. I'm not normally big on asking guests to bring food but it's Xmas and it's a busy time for everyone so it seems fair if everyone pitches in a little bit. we'd also done a big Xmas eve and any time saved on cooking was a huge help.

    verdict? everyone had a blast. it was a lot of work and we were exhausted after but some of our kindly guests helped with a bit of the washing up (despite our protests!). all up was a fun night had by all. I wouldn't be hosting every year as its a lot of work but it was fun and everyone enjoyed the selves which we got a massive kick out of.

    ImageUploadedByThe Bub Hub1447540780.871295.jpg
    here's our outdoor area after dark. it rained so everyone had moved indoors by this stage.
    Last edited by turquoisecoast; 15-11-2015 at 08:47.

  5. #14
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    Here's my tip.. Be realistic about your time frames.

    Whenever my mum has Christmas, she insists that we're all seated and eating by midday. Tbh it's so stressful and unrealistic. Both for those cooking and those trying to get their morning Christmas traditions done, as well as phone calls and visits to other relatives, to be at mums early enough to help out cooking and see everyone and chat and catch up. I'd much prefer to eat lunch at 1.30 or so and have a relaxed morning.

    Plan your menu well, check how long everything takes to cook and make sure you can fit it all into your oven. My sister and I did a Christmas, we had a lot of people (35 I think?), and we couldn't get all the roast vegetables done in time because there was so many on so many oven trays, we couldn't fit them all into the oven.

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by preggasaurus View Post
    Here's my tip.. Be realistic about your time frames.

    Whenever my mum has Christmas, she insists that we're all seated and eating by midday. Tbh it's so stressful and unrealistic. Both for those cooking and those trying to get their morning Christmas traditions done, as well as phone calls and visits to other relatives, to be at mums early enough to help out cooking and see everyone and chat and catch up. I'd much prefer to eat lunch at 1.30 or so and have a relaxed morning.

    Plan your menu well, check how long everything takes to cook and make sure you can fit it all into your oven. My sister and I did a Christmas, we had a lot of people (35 I think?), and we couldn't get all the roast vegetables done in time because there was so many on so many oven trays, we couldn't fit them all into the oven.
    Omg 35 people?! And here I am stressing about 13 people lol.
    I would love to be more relaxed about time but both of my SILs love trying to cram everything into 1 day, so will be leaving that afternoon to drive the 2 hours for dinner with their inlaws....last time I hosted Xmas in our old house we had a pool so everyone was relaxing and swimming and it caused so much drama that lunch wasnt ready in time for their schedule. So have to try to be fairly on time! Good tip about the oven, think I might pull out my convention oven for extra cooking room!

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisecoast View Post
    we hosted Xmas dinner for about 14 last year. my tips:

    plan a theme. ours was a flamingo themed Xmas (random I know but I can't stand the usual Santa, red/green/gold aesthetic and I thought something quirky might be cute/fun. we bought some plastic pink flamingos that go in the garden and put a heap of white fairy lights up. we also had a pink flamingo themed non-alc punch in one of those glass drink dispensers)

    food. we just picked a few fun/fave dishes that weren't too complicated to make. we had a buffet style and laid all the food out on our kitchen table and people served themselves. we had seats around the room and some outside but it got cold quite early so everyone ended up indoors. we didn't do the traditional turkey/Xmas dinner. instead we did a seafood paella, mac & cheese, little beef sliders, some salads and a few other tasty bits and bobs. was more appropriate to buffet style dining and we felt a lot of people probably had the usual Xmas fare at lunch so dinner was something different.

    weather. if you're in a changeable climate (hello Melbourne), plan for indoors/outdoors or have a bad weather contingency plan. no use assuming it'll be warm then scrabbling to get guests indoor seating as its started to rain. that will just add stress to the day.

    drinks. we had those black IKEA tubs/buckets set up with ice as drink stations so we weren't having to serve people drinks. plus the punch in the drink dispenser on the outside table.

    gifts. we did a family KK after dinner. everyone got a gift and it was easy to organise and fun to have everyone open a gift etc.

    servingware. as we don't have enough plates etc to cater to 14, we bought some nice bamboo plates and bowls (felt a bit nicer than plain paper plates) and some nice wooden/bamboo cutlery. was easy as it reduced on washing up and you could just throw your plate away after you were done.

    we did ask guests to bring a plate of food. some were allocated entrees/nibbles, others did desserts. I'm not normally big on asking guests to bring food but it's Xmas and it's a busy time for everyone so it seems fair if everyone pitches in a little bit. we'd also done a big Xmas eve and any time saved on cooking was a huge help.

    verdict? everyone had a blast. it was a lot of work and we were exhausted after but some of our kindly guests helped with a bit of the washing up (despite our protests!). all up was a fun night had by all. I wouldn't be hosting every year as its a lot of work but it was fun and everyone enjoyed the selves which we got a massive kick out of.

    Attachment 75370
    here's our outdoor area after dark. it rained so everyone had moved indoors by this stage.
    Love this! So quirky and unique!

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  9. #17
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    I think its important to make a list and let everyone know exactly what they need to bring, otherwise it all turns to hell pretty quickly. Eg, last year my SIL decided to do seafood for entrees (we were at MILs house) but hadnt actually told any of us so when it came to trying to get everything cooked it went pearshaped as the oven was required to bake the fish and the stove top was used to pan fry seafood kebabs, but at the same time we were trying to cook roast vegies and finish off the meat, and my other SIL had bought a big platter of cold meats and nibbles to have instead of entree, so it was a bit of a shambles and we ended up taking about 90 mins longer to get lunch served because cooking and eating the unplanned (but delicious) entree took longer than we thought.

    This year we are doing cold meats, salads and 2 desserts and everyone has a couple of things they have to bring. Hopefully its a little less stressy and much more relaxed.

  10. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just*Ace View Post
    Omg 35 people?! And here I am stressing about 13 people lol.
    I would love to be more relaxed about time but both of my SILs love trying to cram everything into 1 day, so will be leaving that afternoon to drive the 2 hours for dinner with their inlaws....last time I hosted Xmas in our old house we had a pool so everyone was relaxing and swimming and it caused so much drama that lunch wasnt ready in time for their schedule. So have to try to be fairly on time! Good tip about the oven, think I might pull out my convention oven for extra cooking room!
    Unfortunately this is us, the having to leave to go elsewhere in the afternoon. I hate it. I wish we could have the entire day at one house and not have to pack the kids up and go elsewhere, but unfortunately I havent quite convinced my Mum to change what she does, which is always dinner with her husband and his kids. I want to do that side of the family on the weekend before Christmas or on boxing day, just so we can all have a relaxed Christmas without rushing from one family to the next.

  11. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlsRock View Post
    Unfortunately this is us, the having to leave to go elsewhere in the afternoon. I hate it. I wish we could have the entire day at one house and not have to pack the kids up and go elsewhere, but unfortunately I havent quite convinced my Mum to change what she does, which is always dinner with her husband and his kids. I want to do that side of the family on the weekend before Christmas or on boxing day, just so we can all have a relaxed Christmas without rushing from one family to the next.
    I guess I'm lucky that my mum is very accommodating to what I'm doing with my inlaws. We alternate with the inlaws, Xmas eve one year, Xmas day the next. Mum is always happy to do the Opposite Day so I don't need to rush anywhere. It would be exhausting having to do more than 1 in a day!

  12. #20
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    Talking about timings- Does anyone remember the show The Royle Family- they had some very funny Xmas episodes including one where she got the timing wrong with the turkey. OMG hilarious. I think everyone ended up with a Xmas dinner of packet soup and lots of alcohol.

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