As the nights draw in and you start to spend more time in your PJs drinking tea than, well, pretty much anything else, you know that soon winter festivities will be upon you. Sparkling dresses and prosecco with tiny entrėes, proper feasts with your whole family and festive fun with your friends will soon fill your calendar.
So you’d better get prepared!
This time of year is ideal for gathering everyone you know and love around your table to feast and have fun. Investing in a designer large table for 12 people is ideal for getting everyone seated comfortably but a mishmash of smaller tables is at least a kind of tradition at this time of year. Whatever you choose, a festive table cloth and runner will bring things together and protect the wood from all the inevitable spills.
Having enough glasses, cutlery and plates is another area where a bit of mix and match work is for the best. You might keep an extra set in storage for this time of year but if you don’t, charity shops are perfect for cute finds to create an eclectic mix. Just stick to a theme or colour scheme to keep things vaguely related!
Decorating the House
There are two ways to decorate a house at Christmas: tastefully and sparingly or festive explosion of tinsel. Whatever your style is, just enjoy yourself putting baubles on the tree and winding tinsel around the bannister. Stick some classics on to sing along to while you go to really get in the spirit.
Homemade decorations are always the best ones and if you have kids (or excitable friends) throwing a making party is a great idea. Cut out snowflakes, dip cheap baubles in glitter and make endless paper chains together for a cosy afternoon in.
Planning the Food
When you are feeding a lot of people, the best way to prepare everything is 1) in advance, 2) so that it freezes and 3) so that it pretty much cooks itself on the day. If you are doing a big slap up dinner, you can easily prepare the veg the day before and simply reheat in the oven while you do the meat. Of course, you can always enlist a couple of guests to help, especially if they are family.
For large parties, a buffet is probably best. You can buy all sorts of nibbles and snacks to go on the table but it’s always nice to add something you have made yourself. Festive decorated biscuits are a favourite but try making cheese straws or going all out to make mini sausage rolls for extra brownie points. Vegetarian friends will really appreciate little flags made with cocktail sticks on the foods they are safe to eat too!
With so much fun around the corner, start making plans with your friends for the perfect winter nights in. And definitely start filling the freezer with delicious Christmas foods.