How to be the South West Christmas host with the most
We’re incredibly lucky to live in one of the most beautiful corners of the world. And don’t our relatives know it! Being tapped to host Christmas parties and holiday guests is part and parcel of living in the South West. We can feel very proud that our homes and region bring everyone together. Here are some tips and tricks to help make hosting a piece of (Christmas) cake.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
Friends and family know they’re coming to a home, not a hotel. They’re here to have a good time, not judge your house keeping standards so don’t worry if you never quite got around to cleaning the windows. And guests want to pull their weight. Don’t be afraid to ask them to bring a dish or drinks, lend a hand in the kitchen, set the table, serve drinks … or whatever else needs doing on Christmas day.
Yes, you can host Christmas lunch and still get down to the beach in the morning too. The trick is to prep as much as possible. Set the table the night before. Put out the serving platters and champagne bucket. Buy the ice the day before and store it in an esky. Make the pavlova a day or two ahead so you only have to dress it on the day – same with the salads.
Give yourself some space
Everyone loves congregating in the kitchen at parties. Which is probably where you don’t want them while you’re rushing around getting everything ready. The solution is simple. Set up a drinks table where you want them to gather – bubbles and beer have a magnetic pull.
To create as much preparation space as possible, clear counters of clutter and unnecessary appliances before the party. Still need more space? Set up a butcher’s trolley or trestle table.
Give guests their space
Make house guests feel welcome by clearing some space for them to hang up their party clothes. If your wardrobes are at bursting point, see if you can buy or borrow a hanging rail, or folding suitcase stand.
DIY coffee and tea
Set up a tray with a kettle, cups and saucers, teas, coffee, sugar, UHT milk and a sign saying ‘help yourself’. It allows you to sit down and enjoy Christmas lunch or dinner. Leave it set it up for your houseguests’ stay and you are officially off hot beverage making duty.