Want to know how to host the perfect Christmas lunch or dinner? We asked Lou to provide her top organisational tips for making the day a memorable one. You will likely giggle and cringe as you picture yourself in similar circumstances.
Christmas is inching oppressively closer and I know that you’ve come here looking for help, for guidance, for answers from the woman who knows the best way to do absolutely everything. Unfortunately, she charges too much for her blog pieces so you’re stuck with me instead. I like to think of myself as the poor man’s Martha Stewart without the insider trading conviction. Give me a dinner party guest list, two hours, a trip to Aldi and then $50 in The Reject Shop and I will give you an EXPERIENCE.
I’ve taken a slight breather from my busy schedule of spying on the neighbours and online present shopping to gift to you a definitive guide for how to host the perfect Christmas lunch. And when I say perfect I mean, completely stressful, over the top and migraine inducing. Shall we?
Check for food allergies in advance. You don’t want good ol’ Cousin Tim waiting until after he’s tucked into the Ricotta and Asparagus tart (homemade pastry thank you) to tell you he’s lactose and gluten free. We’ve only got so much toilet paper to go around, Tim. I’m going to have to ask you to go outside and use the hose.
I like to prepare a variety of options for each course because I am a perfectionist idiot. For maximum threat-to-marriage levels of stress I’d recommend choosing recipes that all require the exact same cooking times but at different temperatures. This will create a Tasmanian Devil in the kitchen situation, which is a very sexy look and sure to impress everyone.
Obviously, refuse all offers from other guests to bring food. How will they know how great and competent you are unless you constantly beat them over the head with it? Don’t share that spotlight, lady. Death before delegation.
Some people will tell you that a simple table cloth, table mats and the nice cutlery are more than enough for a table setting at Christmas. The conversation will flow across the table, people will be able to see each other and there will be plenty of room for plates and glasses.
Not only are these people wrong but they are uninvited. I will not allow such lack of creative vision to darken my doorstep.
You want a theme, clearly. Nothing obvious like “Christmas” or “lunch”. I like nuanced classics like “Macarena Mystery” or “Global Warming” or “Highway to Hell” – you know, things that scream holiday festivities. The other guests will initially appear confused but this is all part of it. You might have to give a long speech about the connections between your theme and Christmas (please stand on a small box for added drama if appropriate) or you may even have to break out the interpretative dance. When they do see the link the applause and the respect will be all yours.
Popping crackers, singing Christmas carols, throwing things at weird old drunk Uncle Danny are all standard at most Christmas lunches. What you really want to do to stand out from the crowd and win Christmas is to cajole your guests into a forced set of pre-planned activities.
Over the last few years, I have organised:
- High Stakes Hide and Seek, where the last one to be found can blend different leftovers together and force someone of their choosing to drink the concoction.
- Sound Charades, where you hum songs from the soundtrack of a movie and are not allowed to move any other part of your body. You must continue to hum until someone gets it. Record is a twenty-five-minute hum – she passed out but only briefly.
- Multicultural Christmas Carols. We sing carols after pumping them into Google Translator. Our versions are expressive and tolerant but vastly incorrect and possibly offensive.
- Parents Pictionary. You are forced to play with your spouse or partner. Last couple to have an argument wins.
- Put-upon Polly. This is a secret game I play by myself. It’s where I smash things together loudly because no one has offered to help me clean up. If someone comes and offers I loudly hiss, “It’s fine” and then continue to carry on like a pork chop.
I hope these tips have been super helpful! If you need any clarification you can contact me via the page. I’m willing to help if you create a small Christmas decoration with my face on it to honour my contributions to your lunch.
Please share your Christmas hacks below. Especially if you have tips on how to host the perfect Christmas lunch or dinner.