How To: Host your first Christmas dinner

Host your first Christmas dinner

Hosting your first holiday dinner? These tips & tricks will help you pull together a fabulous party without losing your holiday spirit or mind!

You Will Need:
• Adequate seating and tableware
• All the family's favorite foods
• Christmas ornaments or bunches of red and green grapes
• Candles
• A cleaning service (optional)

Step 1: Check logistics
Figure out if you have enough chairs, seating space & tableware. Borrow from friends & neighbors to fill any holes. Or check out a thrift store; if you don't need or want it afterward, donate it back.

Step 2: Call your guests
Call your guests so you have a handle on how many people are coming – and an excuse to fish for contributions. People often want to contribute, especially if it ensures that their holiday favorite will be on the table.

Step 3: Ask for help
Don't be shy about asking for assistance before, during & after. You'll need all the help you can preparing the food, getting your home ready, serving & cleaning up afterward.

Step 4: Have all the family favorites
Even if you personally think that egg nog is nauseating & fruitcake isn't really dessert. If it's important to someone, serve it & let them take the leftovers home.

Step 5: Finalize your menu
Finalize your menu & go shopping. Figure out what you can make a day or two ahead so that the big day is not such a rush. & Remember: Now is not the time to attempt a dish you've never tried.

Step 6: Don't pull any surprises
When it comes to dinner, don't surprise your guests with tofurkey if they've always had a Christmas ham. If you want to serve something different, make it in addition to, not instead of, the family favorite.

Step 7: Make a simple centerpiece
Make a simple table centerpiece out of a bowl of ornaments in 2 colors, like gold & red, or a bowl filled with bunches of red & green grapes, perhaps surrounding a pillar candle. Line the table with votive candles. You're all set!

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