With the festive season on the horizon, and Christmas day plans well in the works you may start to feel an inkling of unexpected party host anxiety. Luckily for you, here at Silver Mushroom our festive planning starts as soon as we put away our Halloween decorations. Here’s our guide to prepare your home for entertaining this Christmas. Whether it be an intimate gathering, or as many of your loved ones that you can squeeze onto your dining room table, let’s make sure that it runs smoothly.
Set Up The Perfect Tablescape
Since the big day has a way of sneaking up on us – even though we’re shocked each year when we hear the first Christmas song on November 1st – the best piece of advice I can give you is to plan ahead. The more you have prepared before, the less you have to worry about on the day. Everyone deserves relaxation over the holidays, especially the host. With that in mind, let’s brush over tablescapes. This is not your typical Sunday dinner, your table should look as delightful as the food that’s about to grace it. And who would we be to insist you spruce up your table, without giving you a wealth of inspiration to browse?
Even the most magical tablescape is incomplete without back-up cutlery. You may have laid the table, but do you have enough to reset for dessert? It’s rather un-glamorous, but a definite essential. There’s nothing elegant about a party with mismatched cutlery or a mid-meal wash up so grandma can eat her trifle. Speaking of grandma, how about setting some place card holders to suggest that she and your aunt don’t sit together? That way the others might get a word in edgeways. Or better yet, sit yourself next to one of the little ones, so that you’re guaranteed a win on the Christmas crackers.
Prepare For The Main Event
Now that your table is looking pristine, we can move onto the main event – food. I’m sure you have your list prepped; turkey, roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, brussels, pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings, stuffing, red cabbage, gravy… I could go on, but my mouth is watering. Sounds perfect to me, until you realise you’re three pots short and you’ll never get your potatoes par-boiled in time to get in the oven. Now your turkey is perfect, but your roasties aren’t crispy. A prepared host would think about that beforehand, and stock up.
Being the extra prepared host that you are, you stocked up on pots and pans, so your entire dinner – by some Christmas miracle – is ready at the same time. With your family at the table, impatient tummies rumbling, it’s time to present the turkey. Something that took hours to cook deserves nothing less than to be a charming centrepiece. Whilst we’re all guilty of having one, 10 year old stained chopping board simply won’t do. Carve your turkey in style with a luxury chopping board.
Arrange A Warm Welcome
I admittedly got excited about Christmas dinner and skipped ahead, let’s jump back an hour or so. It’s 1pm, your table is laid, dinner is in the oven, and your guests are due to arrive any minute now. You’ve been saving a bottle of your favourite champagne for today to pass out to your guests on arrival. Enter the quintessential hosting companion; a speciality ice bucket to keep your champagne deliciously cold. What is specially saved champagne, without luxurious glasses to match? On the side, tackle the impatient hunger complaints before they dare to begin, with a snack selection presented in style.
Set The Post-dinner Mood
Beyond securing the essentials, the second most important step is creating the perfect environment that exudes warmth, comfort, and festivity. After you’ve ‘wowed’ with your stunning tablescape and even more impressive Christmas dinner, you want to encourage your guests to move away from the table, curl up on the sofa and snuggle under a cosy blanket.
Warm, soft lighting is essential to create the right atmosphere in your living room to wind down after the excitement of dinner and gifts. After years of gathering our Christmas decorations, this year we’re ditching the tacky lights and introducing unique ambient lighting. Whilst we’re all praying for a White Christmas, let’s keep the real frost outside, and our Frosted Christmas Lights inside. Accentuate the warmth inside the home.
As much as we love the smell of a home-cooked roast dinner, after inevitable over-indulgence your guests may be ready for a different scent. In my very humble Christmas-loving opinion, soaking up all the last remaining pumpkin spice is essential before we begrudgingly have to restart the countdown until next festive season.
Now that everyone is undeniably snuggly, finish off the evening by offering out a nightcap. Perhaps a gourmet hot chocolate served up with cream, and marshmallows in front of the blazing fire. Or maybe your favourite sloe gin, for those ready to keep the party going.
Final Words Of Wisdom
My final token of advice is to invest in your seasonal essentials, and curate a timeless collection. The best thing about Christmas is that it comes around every year. Between you and me, you can also pull out your ‘special occasion’ ice bucket and glasses out at any time of year – make any Sunday a special Sunday.