Christmas dinner is such a special time of year, and if you are hosting this important occasion, you want everything to turn out perfect – from the food to the drinks to the decorations. So if you’re wondering how to make the best Christmas dinner this year, here are some great tips.
How to Make the Best Christmas Dinner
1. Choose The Right Menu
There are hundreds of different foods to choose from for any kind of meal, but there are two main types of cuisine used for Christmas dinners: traditional and modern. Traditional foods include turkey, ham, goose, duck, and venison, as well as staples such as potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and Christmas puddings. The other type of menu consists of a variety of more exotic dishes that are not necessarily found around the holidays.
Modern foods typically consist of lighter options, including chicken or seafood dishes, which tend to have fewer carbohydrates. This makes sense since many people gain weight during the holiday season. You should also think about what your guests can eat before the meal begins, and keep in mind that most people have dietary restrictions. For example, vegetarians might not enjoy a meat-filled Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re having friends over, you should look into catering services. They often provide menus based on the number of guests, so you won’t need to worry about preparing too much food. You’ll also have help serving and clearing the table.
2. Decorate Your Home
While decorating your home is part of the fun of entertaining, don’t forget that the purpose of the evening will be to gather together with your family and friends. You shouldn’t spend all of your energy putting up decorations. Instead, focus on food, drink, and conversation. A simple backdrop will work just fine when hosting a casual dinner.
Decorations can be combined with fresh greenery, pine cones, ribbons, garlands, and Christmas lights. Other ideas include using vintage Christmas cards and wrapping them around candlesticks. Or use old photographs and hang them above the dining room table (make sure they’re protected from moisture).
3. Plan Ahead
Planning will allow you to get organized early, giving yourself enough time to buy groceries, cook dinner, and set the table. This means you can begin cleaning your house the day before so you aren’t left scrambling at the last minute. To avoid last-minute stress, plan on leaving plenty of time for cooking.
If you are planning on cooking a large amount of food, consider buying prepped ingredients like cut-up apples, peeled cucumbers, and ready-made salads. These items will take less preparation than chopping and mixing things up at the last moment. Plus, they are usually already washed and trimmed.
4. Prepare the Space Before Guests Arrive
Make sure your space is clean before guests arrive by wiping down tables, chairs, counters, appliances, and floors. Wipe down surfaces where food has touched. If possible, wash all dishes with hand soap rather than dishwasher detergent. Also, make sure any trash bins are emptied.
5. Set Up the Table
The easiest way to prepare a festive table is to purchase decorative plates and place settings. In addition to these, you will want to add candles, tablecloths, napkins, and silverware. Try to coordinate colors with the season; red and green go nicely with winter themes.
6. Serve Cocktails
Make it easy for guests to stay hydrated by providing glasses and water bottles. It’s also important to offer wine or alcoholic beverages because some guests may feel shy about ordering drinks for themselves.
7. Add Snacks
Hungry people will likely snack throughout the night to satisfy their hunger. Don’t forget to fill your glass with soda or juice to ensure everyone stays hydrated.
8. Be Prepared to Take Photos
It’s best to have someone else snap photos of the event if you aren’t sure about taking photos. Many digital cameras come loaded with automatic features, allowing you to capture special moments without needing to learn how to use the camera. However, if you want to remember one particular moment, ask a guest to take a picture. That way, you’ll always have an extra copy.
9. Have Fun!
Enjoying time with loved ones is what holidays are all about. So as you relax and unwind after the hard work of setting the table and preparing snacks, enjoy every moment.