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By : Rebekah Absalom   
Tips for Hosting a Perfect Christmas Dinner

Party time is nearly here, so if you're wondering how to host the ultimate Christmas get together, read on...

Be a happy hostess
First and foremost, a successful dinner party needs a relaxed and welcoming hostess. Settle on a menu, taking into account any special dietary needs, and don’t be afraid to ask friends for ideas. If you are enjoying yourself, your guests will be too. 
Prepare ahead
There are many things you can make in advance and freeze until the big day. Cranberry sauce, stuffing and bread sauce all freeze like a dream – just take them out a day or two before Christmas. Pick up your turkey on the same day, ready to stuff on the morning of Christmas Eve.


Stock up
Make sure you have plenty of food, without overdoing it. Boxing Day is meant for leftovers after all, but we wouldn’t want anything going to waste. Extra salad, potatoes and cheese are a good start. 
Consider your tables cape
Before you put the finishing touches to your table, try sitting down and testing the height of your centerpiece. Whilst fresh flowers and lit candles are picturesque, their scents can often be overpowering; when it comes to dinner, you want your food to be the most fragrant item in the room.


If you don’t have enough silverware for all your guests, don’t worry. Make a feature out of mixing and matching what you have – you can bring the look together with coloured napkins.

Keep things simple
You don’t want to be slaving away over the cooker. Once the turkey is in and you’ve defrosted your pre-prepared foods, all you have to do is bring the meal together. Co-ordination is the key; schedule everything beforehand.


Remember to have fun – it’s Christmas! Organise games for after dinner, or have some carols ready to play (quietly, so as not to drown out conversation). If you're stuck for ideas, take a look at our roundup of party games.
Share out tasks between the family to ensure a hassle-free evening. One person could be in charge of laying the table, whilst another takes care of drinks – allowing you to focus on food preparation. Be appreciative of everyone’s effort – encouragement and praise can go a long way!