How to Prepare for Christmas Lunch with the Family
Plan Your Christmas Lunch in Advance
Planning is a big part of Christmas and if this is the first time that you are doing it then it is a good idea to get the family together for a meeting to see what each one can prepare and bring along with them.
You also need to know what you are going to need which means that making a list is very important because leaving everything for the last minute can result in you finding the stores out of stock and you don't want that to happen, especially if the mother in law is waiting to see what you have planned!
With a few easy tips and some special recipes you will have your cake and eat it too!
Décor for the Christmas Table
I find that this is a great idea and it makes your lunch extra special as well as getting the kids involved too.
Keep it simple and easy to do by adding tinsel onto the centre of the table or a few tree decorations but what I really think is great is making the crackers because it is personal and so much fun for the children.....it is also a distraction so that you can spend time in the kitchen. Don't overdo the décor and don't overthink it either, just make it as simple as possible and leave it to the other members in the household to do.
What to Eat on Christmas Day
It goes without saying that Turkey, Gammon and Stuffing are on the list! If this is your first Turkey then a good suggestion is to get your hubby to cook it on the barbeque with the lid on. You do have to make sure that it is dressed and spiced up and in most cases you have to clean it yourself but it is not that difficult and you will be able to do this in no time. A good basting for the Turkey is a very neutral one because you are going to have a couple of condiments to go with it anyway and as long as it is not dry all you need is a good gravy to add to it.
Gammon is something that can be done in the oven but there is a process and the best way to do this is to boil it the day before and then stick it into the oven the following day for best results.
If you don't have time to experiment and you get stressed out then perhaps a good idea is to buy your Turkey and Gammon smoked so that all you need to do is heat and eat!
You could get rid of the packaging and add a little extra basting of your own to make it look like you have cooked it so that nobody will know or think you still haven't managed to learn to cook the dinner.
If that's not how you would like to do things then there are some easy recipes on the web and you will find some great lessons on there too.
A good stuffing is important because it compliments the meat and with a gravy you cannot go wrong but what else can you add to the Christmas table?
Vegetables that are creatively prepared are fun and colourful but try to make unusual things that you don't have every day.
Pumpkin fritters or pumpkin pie is a good idea and it tastes lovely as well as complimenting the meat dishes.
Spinach and feta wrapped in filo pastry looks delicious and it is easy to make.
Don't forget the rice, gravy and potatoes as well as making sure that you have space for dessert.
Christmas Lunch or Dinner Ideas
Interesting Christmas Cakes
Make a List for each Family Member
The best thing about Christmas is family! If you are lucky enough to spend time with family then that is the best gift that anyone can have. The whole family can get involved in décor, cooking and wrapping for Christmas and each member of the family can add something special to it to make it a joint effort. This is also a good way to help the chef or host so that it is not difficult and hard work which will be dreaded each year.
Making a list of what you are going to have and what each person is going to do is easy and fun if you know what their speciality is, if you don't then give them something to try and this could become their signature dish in years to come. Keep it a tradition that will continue on and the table will get bigger and bigger throughout the years.
Christmas Cake, Décor and Gift Wrapping
Christmas Cake, Décor and Wrapping
A Christmas cake does not have to be the traditional fruit cake that takes a few weeks to do but if you can make that one then that is great! For those of us who don't have the time or the best recipe than you can make any cake that you like and simply decorate it with fondant, colour and your kids can help you. Fondant takes long to mould and you need patience for it but the good news is that if you have something that you really need to get done, then this is a good way to keep the kids busy and they will love it too.
Décor can be expensive if you have the budget for it or you can simply make your own décor with a few household items that will sparkle and look good on the table. Get some Christmas tinsel or left over ornaments and add this into a big candle holder, then put it onto your table. You can also fold serviettes into Christmas trees and the kids can do it, it is that easy.
Wrapping gifts is also a hard part of the job because it is so time consuming but if you are clever, than you will have them wrapped at the stores where you have purchased them. For many of us, gift wrapping is a part of the Christmas spirit and you don't want to have someone else wrap your gifts so that a personal touch can be added. A beautifully wrapped gift that has been thought out is a special treat for the person opening the gift and it is also sometimes a little heart breaking if the wrap is not noticed and just torn rapidly. Make sure that when you do personalise a gift with the wrap and it takes you some time to do, that it gets to a person who appreciates it.
Fold your own Christmas Tree Serviettes
Does Your Family Help
How do you get Everyone Involved with the Christmas Prep?
Make a To Do List for the Family at Christmas
When making the list for family to prepare something at home, ensure that you do not dictate to them what to do as it should be a communication from everyone and it must be exciting and shouldn't feel like a burden. Ask the family what they would like to have at the table this year and then find out who can make what item to bring along or to come and cook with you. Each member of the family can have a task; the teens can decorate the table, kids can clear the plates or bring glasses and drinks to the table and the other family members can each have something that they are cooking or buying to bring to the dinner table. It is fun and it should bring you closer together so it is best to keep all the chefs in their own kitchens as putting them all in one room can cause a little friction.
Christmas is fun and the family being together is the most important part so if things don't go as perfect as you want them to, just remember that you got everyone together and they all managed to smile and laugh, which is more important than what is on the plate and who got what.