I’m guessing that there’s a fair few of you lovelies, given the comments shared at the bottom of our festive posts these last few days, that are ‘hosting’ Christmas this year. I know that Charlotte, Lauren and Lottie for example are all welcoming in excess of 10 people each this coming weekend. Oh the pressure! Granted this will be the case for me next December as we’ll be well and truly encamped in our new home but for now I can rest easy knowing that it’s only drinks that I’ve got to turn my hand to (as mentioned in this post) this year.
Regardless I know only too well that there are a plethora of last minute ‘oh gosh have I got enough of this?’ and ‘now where did I put that?’ and ‘where the hell am I going to put Uncle Fred’ thoughts. The below then is hopefully a handy list of tips to help with the stresses of Christmas Day to enable you to glide through as gracefully as a swan even if you’re peddling like billy-o beneath the surface.
It’s likely a combination of long journeys for some family members combined with an excess of alcohol will mean that you’ll have a few extra people staying over in spare rooms, on sofa beds or topping and tailing with the kids. Usually it’s just for the one night so there’s no need to invest in copious amounts of bedding that will probably only see the light of day again next Christmas. That said you’ll still need enough pillows and blankets to make sure everyone stays both comfortable and warm whilst they sleep off the day’s indulgences. If you don’t quite have enough then it’s worth asking if your nearest and dearest wouldn’t mind bringing the odd pillow/duvet with them and then maybe using the opportunity to purchase that set of bedlinen that you’ve had your eye on all year…you know, just in case.
Vases & Candles
Apart from the gorgeous smell emanating from the Christmas tree, I like to welcome guests with some beautifully fragrant blooms which I’ve ‘forced’ for the table. I particularly love using old pots and unusual containers to add interest but these galvanised pots from Garden Trading are equally as lovely too. On the odd occasion where they haven’t bloomed in time I’ve resorted to diffusers to try to mask the smell of post Sprout consumption…you know what I mean 😉
One other item I always forget about until the last minute is candles. And by this I mean dinner candles, not those of the scented variety (although it’s worth stocking up on those too!). Granted it’s not absolutely essential and if the worse comes to the worse then you can always pop on the overhead light but I do love the atmosphere and elegance that comes with dining by candlelight. Those opting for a coppery colour themed table will probably love this design from Cox & Cox which have coincidentally just gone into the sale.
Plates & Cutlery & Glassware
Take a moment to tot up how many people you have for dinner and whether you do indeed have the equivalent number of plates/bowls/glasses and cutlery. It’s always worth over estimating just in case of any breakages, unexpected guests or even because you can’t quite be arsed to wash up that bowl that’s been used to house the parsnips but which is now needed so that Aunt Nellie can have her figgy pudding.
Plain tumblers are especially useful and can be used for anything from long cocktails to tap water. Plus even if you buy too many, they’re cheap enough to not break the bank and you know that they’ll still be in use for years to come.
I naughtily use this time of year to indulge in a casserole dish or serving platter which I justify to Ste that we absolutely must have otherwise what would we serve up the carrots in… My favourite range has to be the recognisable Sophie Conran off-white design but I’m also tempted by this Spode Christmas Tree range for nostalgic reasons as it reminds me of being small.
Final Festive Touches
If you haven’t the time to go out foraging for bits of greenery to nestle in nooks and crannies or to drape over fireplaces then why not cheat and buy a pre-made garland instead. I looked in so many shops but it seems that most have sold out this year. That said The White Company still have stock of their Eucalyptus and Winterberry garland which is now in the sale at 30% off. Made from a collection of firs, sprigs and branches and frosted pinecones this would look very nice laid on a mantlepiece and would literally take five minutes to set up before your guests start pouring through the door.
It’s also worth filling up small decorative bowls with woodland inspired pot pourri which not only look the part but spread the essence of Christmas. My preference is for mercury silver bowls which reflect candlelight beautifully.
Last Minute Stocking Fillers
Charlotte shared a wonderful post yesterday on last minute gifts for your girls (or yourself!) and Lottie also doubled up on the present action over on our sister blog Rock My Family with tonnes of ideas on what to buy everyone from your next door neighbour to grandparents which you can read here. It’s definitely worth checking out these two posts if you’re lacking inspiration on the last minute stocking filler count.
And that’s about it. You should be well and truly set for Christmas now unless that is we’ve forgotten something too. How many of you are hosting Christmas this year? Are you nervous? Excited? Or are you a pro with several dinners under your belt already…why not tell us all about it in the comments box below.