How To Really Enjoy Christmas Dinner When You Are The Host

It is possible to be the Christmas dinner host and actually have a somewhat relaxing day if you can have an open mind. 

You just said it in passing one day and now you have found yourself hosting Christmas dinner for about seven hundred people this year.
It sounded like a great idea at the time but as the big day approaches you might be wondering if you have bitten off more than you can chew. In fact, you are wondering if you will have a moment to chew anything at all.
It is possible to be the Christmas dinner host and actually have a somewhat relaxing day if you can have an open mind.
So here are our best tips to help you really enjoy Christmas dinner this year even though you are the host. Let’s not make Christmas 2018 the “never again” year. You can do this!

1. Don’t leave logistic issues until the last minute
Christmas morning would not be the time to ask people to bring a couple of chairs or plates with them. Put the feelers out now and make a plan regarding how many extra chairs, tables and bits and pieces you might need. That way people can get organized to help make it happen.

2. Take as many “short-cuts” as possible
We know it’s “nice” to make home-made stuffing and gravy using the juices from the meat but would life be infinitely easier if you could pop a tray in the oven and add water to a jug? Your guests will appreciate it and enjoy it no less and you’ll give yourself time to sit down and enjoy it too.

3. Where possible use disposable dishes
We know it isn’t great for the environment but as a once-off event save yourself five hours of washing up and use a disposable tray, bowl or dish where possible. You’ll thank yourself for this one. Nothing says seasons greeting like scrapping the bottom of a burnt pan.

4. Don’t be afraid to actually use the words BYOB
You can’t be expected to do it all and people are more than happy to bring their own. People will show up with wine and beer regardless so save yourself the hassle and make it clear from the start that you are providing the grub and they are providing the booze.

5. Anything that can be made in advance should be made in advance
This one sounds so obvious but it involves a bit of planning. The days leading up to Christmas can be hectic so sitting down and making a schedule of sorts will really help you. You could make and freeze entire dishes that can then be put straight into the oven as they are needed.

6. Less is more
Instead of planning twelve sides, three meats and a greenhouse full of vegetables plan a small number of things and enjoy doing them well. Less really is more. Less to buy, less to remember, less work and less waste.

7. Don’t be offended if plates are not cleared
In fact, I would expect them not to be. I don’t know what it is about Christmas day but so many people are not even hungry by the time the dinner arrives. Christmas morning often begins with a slap-up breakfast and visiting usually results in copious amounts of crisps and treats. It’s nothing to do with the food you’ve prepared, we promise.

8. Speaking of number seven...
Make your own rules when it comes to time. Mary down the road has her Christmas dinner at 3pm but that doesn’t mean you have to also. Suit yourself and do what works for you and your guests.

9. Try to not fixate on having the place spotless
Your efforts will be futile in many respects because by the time the guests arrive there will be wrapping paper in every corner and stuffing in places that stuffing should never be.

10. Remember, it’s never too early for a tipple
Be grand it’s Christmas!

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at



Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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