As some of you will know, I come from a seriously food obsessed family, and can shamelessly tell you that emails have already gone around between us all (around 35 bums on seats this year) with a menu plan for Christmas lunch. I can totally relate to the whole ‘premature christmas decoration’ movement, but when it comes to the entertainment factor on Christmas Day – it’s never too early to plan in my books. Here are some tips for hosting a great Christmas lunch:
The standard Australian Christmas lunch isn’t all about roast turkey and steamed pudding anymore, it’s a chance to showcase seasonal produce with a nod to tradition. Our family never misses out on a yummy selection of fresh seafood and the addition of a good fruit platter and cheese board. We also never forget some salad options in bright Christmas colours along with the traditional baked vegies. If you’re catering to a large crowd you can make things a little easier by asking everyone to bring a selected dish.
THE RIGHT SPACE
The weather will determine where you set up for your big feast but regardless of whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you should take the time to select and set up the right space. That means having the right equipment for the job, including comfortable seating and extra tables that you can borrow or purchase for the occasion.
While traditional Christmases may be white in the north, the summer festive season of our lucky country inspires celebrating in the great outdoors so make sure your outdoor entertainment area is up to the task. Builders like QLD based Altec provide a great range of options for patios, pergolas and screens to provide the perfect zone for an outdoor Christmas of entertaining.
Christmas presents in my family are really all about the kids and their wish lists for the year, so in recent years we have developed a great Secret Santa game for the adults, that always gets huge amounts of laughs. Here are the rules:
Each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order — with a twist.
The person who receives the number 1 will pick a gift (that is not their own) from the pile and open it for all to see . During the selection of a wrapped gift, the participant may visually inspect the gifts, pick them up and/or gently shake them.
The person who receives number 2 then chooses a gift and opens it, and then must decide whether to keep it or swap it for the first player’s gift. Each person in order then gets to select a present, open it and decide whether to keep it or swap it for any other gift someone has already opened.
Opening of gifts and swapping takes place until all the presents have been chosen. Finally, the person who picked first gets to choose from all the gifts or keep what he/she has already received. In the end, the gift you are holding is the gift you take home. Trust me, it’s funny.
Christmas is definitely the greatest annual excuse to go to town with decorating (yay!) and making your space festive using everything from table decorations to fairy lights, wreaths, flowers, tableware and pretty much any adornment that come your way. It’s always a good idea to set up the table the day before, so you can relax to an extent before your guests arrive.
I won’t be indulging this year because of the baby on the way, but that just means I’ll be a designated driver for the family members who will be kicking up their heels. It’s great to have a range of drinks (my favourite being a good celebratory champagne) on ice for your guests, and consider briefing your guests to bring specific bottles to make sure the range is on hand for the day.
SLIP AND SLIDE
I don’t know about you, but my childhood christmases were all about the backyard grass slide. As you know, kids do not want to spend their Christmas Day at the table. It’s a good idea to have a couple of activities up your sleeve for the kids to keep entertained, so the grown ups can stay comfortable chatting around the Christmas table.
I’ll be sure to share some photos of our lunch on here this year, I just know it’s going to be a good day.
PS. Can you tell that I love Christmas?