Our previous Christmas blog put the emphasis on hassle-free Christmas prep and now the celebrations are fully underway we’re providing some extra tips on keeping things simple over the festive season. If you’re doing lots of entertaining over Christmas you might be starting to flag at this stage, so take a look at our pointers below to help you keep your cool and continue to enjoy the festive season.
1. Ditch the washing up
Even loading and unloading the dishwasher can seem a herculean task over Christmas. If you’re hosting a buffet or doing drinks and nibbles there’s no need to supply crockery where a paper plate will do. Use seasonal paper plates and cups rather than bog-standard white plates and your table will still look lovely but there will be no washing up afterwards.
2. Keep the drinks simple
Keeping up with everyone’s drinks orders can be tricky, especially if you’re entertaining in large numbers. Keep it simple by directing guests to ready-made jugs of cocktails (with a non-alcoholic option for designated drivers), mini beer casks or wine boxes. Hiring in glasses from your local supermarket ensures you’ll have plenty of glassware to hand, plus you can usually hire glasses free of charge (you may need to pay a deposit and cover the cost of breakage). Some specialist glass loan suppliers even allow you to return glasses unwashed.
Alternatively opt for plastic glasses – you can buy everything from tumblers to flutes – and make them look a little more special by accessorising with a glass decoration – perhaps a cheeky reindeer or a more sophisticated snowflake from our Christmas and Winter ranges?
3. Stick to canapés
If you want to dispense with the need for any table dressing, stick to easy canapés and offer guests delectable nibbles they can eat standing up. Or keep things informal and pile nibbles and small bites on plates on your kitchen island for people to pick at. All you guest need to hand is a festive paper napkin.
4. Create the perfect soundtrack
Create a festive atmosphere that doesn’t rely on over-played Christmas music. That said, most people appreciate music with at least some hint of Christmas, but there is a world beyond Slade and Wizard. For a low-key, jazz-inspired sound try Diana Krall’s ‘Christmas Songs’, or for something more up-tempo the classic ‘Motown Christmas’ album will have guests humming along. If classic crooning is more your style, try ‘Christmas with the Rat Pack’, or for something completely different, with an alternative, left-field vibe, XFM’s ‘It’s a Cool Christmas’ provides seasonal music with a twist. Alternatively there are several live streaming options to play from your computer with dedicated Christmas channels.
5. Add some pizazz…without the faff
Simple touches can make all the difference to your Christmas entertaining. Dispense with fancy desserts and rustle up a batch of easy cupcakes. Add a few drops of rose essence to your mixture to give your cakes an unusual, subtle flavour and top with ready-made buttercream icing. Pop a heart dragee on to the top of each cake or stud your cakes with multi-coloured sprinkles. Add a Christmassy cake topper or bring your display of cakes to the table fizzing with a mini sparkler.
Another easy idea is to forget cakes and desserts altogether and simply load a table with favour pails – we love the sophisticated style of our shimmering snowflake range – filled with sweets, chocolates or shop-bought mini cake bites….simple Christmas style without the stress.