Hosting Your First Christmas Dinner? Your No Panic Guide
Perhaps you were just married this past year, or maybe it’s your first year in your very own home, but whatever the case may be, Christmas will be held at your home this year, and excitement is echoing from wall to wall, but you're also a little bit nervous. How can you prepare for this big event?
Organized ListsHave a list of everything, so you aren't in a frenzy on Christmas day, take note the exact location of all dishes (pantry, fridge or freezer), and write down the time that you want to prep them and/or put them in the oven to heat. Keep this little list in your pocket throughout the day, and you'll always feel in control.
DecorationsGoing overboard with decorations isn't a must for holiday parties, but it's nice to have at least some reminders of the holiday. Be sure to include a nativity in the decor setup to act as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Set up your Christmas tree in a spot where all of your guests will be able to see it beautifully decorated with a few gifts beneath its branches, have your favorite Christmas music playing softly in the background and warm scented candles (or to be on the safe side, plug-in room fresheners) to complete the cheerful holiday environment.
The Final PreparationsMake as much of the food in advance as you possibly can, but some items, such as gravy, generally need to be made on the spot. However, Christmas stroganoff, with exception of the noodles, generally freeze very well, so make items such as that a day or two before the Christmas party. Even the smallest of homes can be suited to accommodate a large number of people, so take some time to arrange the dining room, and this might involve moving tables around to different angles or setting up a children's table in the kitchen. If enough seating isn't available, consider having a buffet style meal, but don't panic if it seems that space will be limited, because on Christmas, most people are bouncing from house to house, so people will be in and out.
The GreetingWhen people come into your home, you want them to feel warm and welcome, so offer to take their coats, and hang them the attire up where they can see to avoid confusion when they’re preparing to leave. Laying them on a bed is an option; however, if you have pets that sit there, it's best not to do so for allergy purposes. Once they have said hello to everyone, offer them a drink, tell them to make themselves at home and let them know where the food and the plates are, and don't be shy about taking that first scoop of dip if you think it will get other people eating.
Above all else, enjoy this very first Christmas in your home, and don’t stress, just do your best. Employ the help of your nieces and nephews who are always eager to help out, and give them a special treat at the end of the evening for helping, like a traditional chocolate orange or an iTunes gift card.
Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for a number of years, married for 13 years, mother for seven years, and is the biggest Christmas enthusiast on this side of the equator.
Melisa is currently promoting Five Star Holiday Décor and Christmas Lighting in Dallas, and would like to wish everyone a beautiful and happy holiday season!