I am a big fan of Christmas! It is easily my favourite time of the year, and I must do a good job of organising and cooking and hosting because this is the fourth time in the last five years I have been asked to host Christmas dinner (the only year my services were not requested was in 2015, though I was originally supposed to host but sadly my Mom died on the 17th of December). I think the reason I am always called on to host at Christmas is my almost zen-like sense of calm and organisation… Or maybe it is just my fully stocked bar; who knows?
My Yoda-ish sense of calm however isn’t something that is hard-wired into my personality. It is the result of years of chaotic holidays, filled with the mini-disasters that everyone has, and my taking simple steps to ensure they never happen again.
So this year, I shall once again post some steps to ensure you have a fun and relaxing Christmas.
Domestic Dad’s Guide to Christmas Bliss.
- REMEMBER Christmas is just another day of the year, but with added presents, and a bit more indulgent food. The real magic of Christmas doesn’t come from perfection, it comes from “togetherness”. When the red mist begins to decent, take a moment to remember that you want it to be perfect, because you are surrounded by the people in your life that you love the most, then maybe have a glass of your favourite beverage, and go back to making memories.
- PLANNING is key. Make a menu well in advance, collect any special requests and make a plan. Remember to check that you have the room in the fridge for everyone’s delights, check cooking times, and make sure you have room in the oven and on the stove to make your menu in time for dinner.
- LISTS make everything go to plan. There is nothing worse than waking on Christmas day to realise you have forgotten to buy carrots, or pototoes.
- GET AHEAD. Try cooking as much as you can in advance and freezing it, ready for Christmas day. I have already made and frozen my Cranberry relish, and Stuffing Balls, and my Christmas cake has been maturing for a couple of weeks. I have also set-up a reminder on my phone to alert me to get them out of the freezer in time to be defrosted, ready for heating up on the big day.
- RECRUIT help. Get the kids to peel the vegetables and lay the table, ask guests to bring their favourite dish, or just ask for a hand in the kitchen from your guests. Most people actually don’t mind helping out.
- SET UP a drinks and snacks bar and let people help themselves. After all it is your Christmas as well, so you don’t want to spend it working as a waiter.
- ALLOW the kids to eat what they want for dinner. If they don’t want sprouts don’t force them, it will only cause unnecessary stress.