Thank you Santa
Take inspiration from Father Christmas – he does his work on Christmas Eve and so should you. When you’ve had your fill of Christmas specials on the TV, steal away and get the table set, ready for the following day. Pick a colour scheme and stick to it. We love the classic combination of deep red, layered on top of a neutral base. Using just one accent colour keeps your scheme chic and uncomplicated. If you’re after more, add foliage and berries for a winter woodland theme, or stick to gold and sparkles for a more sophisticated look.
Make a seating plan
Your guests will love this and so will you. Nothing causes chaos more than a disorganised Christmas table, particularly if your gathering is on the larger side. Do a festive seating plan in advance and decorate the table with beautiful place markers to avoid the awkwardness of everyone hovering around the table, trying to pick the best place to perch. Creating a seating plan is also a subtle way of ensuring lunch runs smoothly by strategically placing more ‘difficult’ guests where they won’t cause issues. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can create simple favours using Christmassy standbys, like baubles or pine cones, to add extra ‘wow’ to your table.
The Generation Game
Christmas is one of the few occasions in the year when multiple generations of the same family are seated together around the table. And your 90-year-old Nan is unlikely to have the same tastes (or teeth) as your nine-year-old son. Make sure there are plenty of options for all, both on their plate and around the table. Switch out the fancy tablecloth for something simpler (read: disposable) for the kids. If you’ve got room to spare in the house, you might want to consider a separate kids table. Alternatively, you might find it safer to keep them where you can see them, lest you return to gravy splatters all over your new Farrow & Ball…
Christmas only comes around once a year, so indulge in elegant drinks for your guests (and for yourself). Buy bottles of good quality red and white wine, alongside something fizzy for welcoming your loved ones. The drinks should be near the food, not miles away hiding in the kitchen. Make sure you’ve got somewhere to chill your wine – an ice bucket is a helpful purchase – and take advantage of eager children who’ll relish the opportunity to play sommelier. Speaking of the children, make sure you’re stocked up on fizzy drinks for them to guzzle by the litre. It is Christmas after all!
Fun and games
Remember, even if the turkey’s slightly more charred than crispy, Christmas is a special time for frivolity, friendship and lots of fun. Indulge with delicious treats, an extra glass of fizz and party hats for all. Get those crackers pulled, relish the amusing gifts and the not-so-amusing jokes and make sure you enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it.