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Your Christmas hosting checklist sorted

We’re all about making Christmas easy, and this complete guide will be helpful for anyone who’s hosting this year. Just print it out and away you go.

Here’s your hosting Christmas checklist

Hosting Christmas Day festivities can sometimes feel like a lot – there’s the menu, the guest list, the shopping, the clean-up … This year, we’re making it simple with a Christmas checklist for hosts. Everything you need is right here for you to tick off as the big day approaches.

Start here: Invite your guests

This one seems obvious, but there are tips that can make life easier down the track. Compile your guest list and reach out to everyone you’re inviting: this is the time to find out if there are any dietary requirements for any of your guests. Check out these Christmas recipes for special diets to get you thinking in the right direction. 

Next: Plan the menu

Now you know who’s coming, you can plan your menu. Either select your mains and build the menu around those or look up complete menus where all the flavours have been matched for you. You could try a fuss-free menu or a seafood feast. Think about the logistics: how much can your oven hold at one time and what order should you make everything. If there’s anything that can be made early, like a frozen dessert (try this raspberry nougat ice cream bombe), you can get on to that now.

Now: Delegate!

Listen up: you don’t need to do everything yourself. Stay in control of the menu by doing what we call ‘mindful delegation’. Don’t just ask someone ‘to bring a salad’ – it’s more helpful for them (and you) to be prescriptive. Once you’ve decided on the menu (see step 2), send your guests the links to the recipes you would like them to bring. (Consider how far they have to travel on the day when you’re assigning dishes.)

Then: Set some milestones 

This is your list of what needs to be done, and when. Milestones can be casual like ‘Finish present shopping by December 1st’, but we suggest being more specific. One example: ‘Place my Coles Online shopping order on December 15th for delivery on December 22nd  at 8pm.’ Put calendar reminders in your diary to make sure you don’t accidentally slip behind.

Start shopping: Spread the spend 

Start shopping early and do a little bit every week. Not only will you get ahead, you’ll spread the spend across pay cheques. Alcohol, soft drinks and pantry staples, like crackers, can be ticked off early in December. Eggs, cheese and chilled fresh cream can be bought mid-December, and turkeys are available in-store from December 18th . Also, consider an online order for the heavy stuff, like soft drinks, so you don’t have to carry those items home.

Don’t forget: Do your research early

Ten minutes before serving Christmas lunch is not the time to Google ‘How to carve a turkey’. When you’re planning the menu, make a list of everything you’ll need to know and do your research before the big day. This handy guide has everything you need to know about turkey, and here’s a video on how to carve a ham.

The finish line: A day or two before Christmas

Pick up all those fresh items like fruit, veg and seafood. Do any prep you can for salads and roast veg, and get desserts done as far as you can. A good tip is to put Post-It Notes on your prepped dishes with what needs to be done to finish them. Set the table, then put your feet up and enjoy a well-deserved glass of bubbles before the fun gets underway.

How can I host an inexpensive Christmas lunch?

Christmas is an expensive time of year but there are things you can do to cut costs. Split the spend across shops from November onwards, delegate recipes to guests, and keep an eye on the Coles catalogue for weekly specials.

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