How to Prepare Your Home (and Furniture) for Christmas Dinner
As Christmas approaches, excitement builds — but so can stress. It’s understandable to want everything ‘just right.’ After all, this might be the first time you’re getting a chance to see distant relatives and friends since last holiday season.
There are easy things you can do to prepare in advance of the big day to ensure your time is spent where it should be — with your visitors and loved ones.
Here are a few ways to prepare your home for a successful Christmas dinner:
1. Get Ready for Overnight Guests
Don’t spend Christmas Eve (or day) moving your furniture around: plan who’s sleeping where a day or two before your guests arrive. Get your kiddos or partner to help make up spare beds, and dust down dressers in spare rooms.
2. Prepare Dining Room Table Displays
Consider setting up your dining room table in advance. The kitchen and dining area are sure to be a hive of activity on Christmas Day. Save yourself from participating in table-setting gymnastics by laying the table (and any accompanying accessories) the evening before dinner prep begins.
3. Make Your List and Check it Twice
When it comes to food preparation, ask your guests for any dietary requirements well in advance. Based on their responses, decide what nibbles, starters, mains, desserts, and drinks you’d like to serve, then make a thorough shopping list. Take your time with this; you really want to avoid having to visit the grocery store twice the week before Christmas! Once you have your groceries safely home, write out a cooking schedule. There are some things that can be made or prepared in advance — soups, dips, and chopped veggies, for example — and preparing as much food as you can leave room for fun on the 25th.
According to the Canadian Psychological Association, around the holidays we tend to feel stressed when we cannot meet demand or expectation. Delegate when you can. Get household family members onboard and give them each a couple of items to prep.
4. Protect Your Furniture in Advance
If you own quality fine wood furniture, on the day of your guests’ arrival, worries may pop up throughout the course of the day. We’ve all seen the trope in TV shows where a visitor unknowingly places a dewy glass of water down on a quality tabletop (ack!).
When hosting with wood furniture, set yourself up for success:
- Offer your guests coasters. Better still, have them visually displayed on your coffee table.
- Use placemats and/or chargers on your dining table.
- Similarly, place a tablecloth or a runner on your wooden dining table to catch drips and spills if you’re hosting family-style.
- Provide your diners with napkins (get fancy with your folding if you’re feeling creative!).
We hope that these tips and pointers set you up for success so that you can have a care-free and relaxing holiday season.