Host Tips for Holiday Guests

At least a few of us will be braving the kitchen and cooking a traditional holiday dinner with all the trimmings, but how many of us will be sweating in the kitchen as our guests enjoy the festive fun? This time of year is all about the people you share it with so while a good meal is a definite bonus, good company is the key. To help clear the smoke from the oven, check out these helpful hosting tips:

Internet Grocery Orders
Tons of supermarkets have moved to online ordering to up convenience for shoppers. And while the buying with the click of the button only takes a second, this speed does not guarantee the items you want will be readily available. Place internet orders in plenty of time, as popular items and the best delivery slots get taken.

Clear Out the Fridge
There’s no point buying all that food if you have nowhere to put it. Find an hour before the 25th to have a clear-out of your fridge, freezer and cupboards. Create a storage spot outdoors, safe from pets and wildlife. It’s the middle of winter. Vegetables, eggs and wine will not decompose if it’s cold enough to snow.

Clear the Counters
You won’t have time to rustle up smoothies, so clear all unnecessary kitchen equipment off work surfaces to make space for preparation. Also pull out all the things in jars you need. Cranberry sauce, chutney, mustard and so on. Then you won’t buy what you don’t need and you won’t forget to put what you do need on the table.

Prep the Table
Prepare the table on Christmas Eve. When the place settings are cleaned and polished to perfection, it’s a weight off your mind. Children? Create a separate table for them and take a cue from local diners and set out a basket of coloring books, crayons, puzzles and more to keep them busy while you’re busy wrapping up the food.

Save that New Recipe for Another Day
On the day, never attempt a recipe you’ve not yet tried, or one with unquantifiable preparation time. There are just too many unknowns that can go wrong and the added stress can take you away from the fun of the day. Stick with the tasty, tried and true.

Take a Breath
Very important: whatever is happening in the kitchen, take yourself away for 10 minutes, pop on your party dress and make yourself presentable. You don’t want to greet your guests still wearing your Rudolph pajamas and your face dripping with perspiration. People will forgive anything if you at least look as if you’re in control. And don’t forget you are in control. It’s totally appropriate to ask for help or to take that sweet, well-meaning relative up on their offer to peel the carrots or refresh drinks around the house.

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