How do you host a great Christmas?

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    Oct 17, 2011 9:36 AM GMT
    So I hate myself for even starting this thread so early as Christmas does my head in these days and it seems to come earlier and earlier but I want to make sure I have enough time for all the planning!

    For the first time ever I will be hosting Christmas at my house (well, with the bf obviously!) and we will also have his parents, his brother and partner, and possibly my parents too (unconfirmed at time of writing).

    The confirmed guests will be arriving for Christmas Eve and leaving the day after Boxing Day.

    I need some help! I would love to hear from guys who have hosted lovely Christmases and have some advice and tips for how to make it great - in terms of food, drinks, decor, entertainment - the works!

    Also, for someone who used to love Christmas but has now pretty much morphed into the Grinch - how can I get a bit of festive spirit to make sure everyone has a good time? I'm reasonably good at faking a smile while I'm dying inside but it would be nice if I enjoyed it rather than endured it (though as long as everyone else has fun that is less important).
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:45 AM GMT
    Pure saidHow do you host a great Christmas?
    Alcohol, food, and lots of expensive gifts.

    Oh and make sure you don't run out of tp.
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:46 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Pure saidHow do you host a great Christmas?
    Alcohol, food, and lots of expensive gifts.

    Oh and make sure you don't run out of tp.


    What he said.
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:48 AM GMT
    AlexanderB said
    paulflexes said
    Pure saidHow do you host a great Christmas?
    Alcohol, food, and lots of expensive gifts.

    Oh and make sure you don't run out of tp.


    What he said.


    What is tp!??

    See, I'm gonna suck at it!!
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:50 AM GMT
    Pure said
    AlexanderB said
    paulflexes said
    Pure saidHow do you host a great Christmas?
    Alcohol, food, and lots of expensive gifts.

    Oh and make sure you don't run out of tp.


    What he said.


    What is tp!??

    See, I'm gonna suck at it!!
    I_Need_TP_for_My_Bunghole_by_teh_yoshi.j
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:00 AM GMT
    Oh, toilet paper??

    We call it loo roll :-)

    Yes I will definitely stock up!! Rotating the showers will be a bit of a challenge too as we have a hot water tank and it only lasts about 2.5 people! The hot water will have to be on constantly I guess!
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:11 AM GMT
    Pure said- how can I get a bit of festive spirit to make sure everyone has a good time?

    I gotta run in a few minutes, but I'll think more about this for when I return in a couple of hours. My disconnect is that I've done US Christmases, not a UK one, so not sure of your specific traditions.

    One thing my friends & I have done for parties & dinners, and especially around Christmas, is to have holiday music playing SOFTLY in the background. Just loud enough to provide a festive background but not be intrusive.

    Stock up on a few hours of light & traditional Christmas carols, or find if there's a station that plays uninterrupted holiday music. We even have them on our cable & satellite providers, with pleasant videos, and some of our friends play those during Christmas parties. But softly -- it's not a rock concert.

    And of course any traditional holiday food & treats, which I guess in the UK would include puddings and certain cakes & sweets. You likely would know your parents' preferences, your BF his. And tons of house decorations, to include a special table centerpiece.

    Holiday dishes are also nice, but you don't have to buy a complete set. Buy a few smaller dishes, for salad or desert, that sit on and coordinate with the larger dishes you already have. Holiday placemats and/or napkins complete the look, makes the whole table look like Christmas. But gotta run now.
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:14 AM GMT
    Thanks for your suggestions yourname!

    I should have said actually, I have a theme, which is 'magical woodland' - since we live in quite a foresty area I'm going to try and get as many pine cones, holly things like that as I can and have lots of little animal things around, but I want a slightly dark fairytale twisted edge to it as well to satisfy my macabre side (it may be Christmas but I don't want it to be cutesy at all).

    Oh, and as for food, I mean the main Christmas dinner will be the traditional thing, it's more about the other meals really. Though I'm not decided on a pudding for Christmas lunch, we have one of the Heston Blumenthal 'secret orange' Christmas puddings but I don't like it so I was going to make something else as an alternative...current plan is a black forest pavlova!
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:15 AM GMT
    Or skip the family Christmas, have some friends over...get really drunk and strut around in this.

    SantaClausS1.jpg
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:16 AM GMT
    Thanks Art_Deco, I can imagine you have loads more great suggestions because you always sound like THE perfect host!

    Actually, I don't think there's much difference between US and UK, not from what I've seen in films anyway. Everyone basically just opens presents, drinks and eats too much, and maybe goes for a Christmas walk!
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:16 AM GMT
    AlexanderB saidOr skip the family Christmas, have some friends over...get really drunk and strut around in this.

    SantaClausS1.jpg


    Oh I will probably wear something like that anyway, it's a good look don't you think?
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    Oct 17, 2011 10:17 AM GMT
    Shorts could be a little shorter. But that's just me icon_razz.gif
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    Oct 17, 2011 11:32 AM GMT
    Pure said
    AlexanderB said
    paulflexes said
    Pure saidHow do you host a great Christmas?
    Alcohol, food, and lots of expensive gifts.

    Oh and make sure you don't run out of tp.


    What he said.


    What is tp!??

    See, I'm gonna suck at it!!


    haha well you will if you keep using Americanisms like that! j/k

    Ehm, I once just made a lot of that thing they drink in Brazil.... hot red wine with sugar, ginger, lemon... I think maybe also cloves and cinnamon, not sure... its a pretty popular Christmas drink Ive been told....
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    Oct 17, 2011 11:36 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    Pure saidThanks for your suggestions yourname!

    I should have said actually, I have a theme, which is 'magical woodland' - since we live in quite a foresty area I'm going to try and get as many pine cones, holly things like that as I can and have lots of little animal things around, but I want a slightly dark fairytale twisted edge to it as well to satisfy my macabre side (it may be Christmas but I don't want it to be cutesy at all).

    Oh, and as for food, I mean the main Christmas dinner will be the traditional thing, it's more about the other meals really. Though I'm not decided on a pudding for Christmas lunch, we have one of the Heston Blumenthal 'secret orange' Christmas puddings but I don't like it so I was going to make something else as an alternative...current plan is a black forest pavlova!

    OMG, that sounds awesome. <3 <3 <3


    I just had a strange vision of a mix of Halloween and Yule.... well if you want to darken things up a bit, why dont you use a Russian-themed Christmas, with those rather Scary winter costumes that make you think of the lion th witch and the wardrobe... or Harry Potter, or LOTR or something like that

    rf-mammoth.jpg

    Edit: some dark Russian christmas mood decoration: christmas-kyiv-2-med.jpg
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    Oct 17, 2011 11:39 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidrf-mammoth.jpg


    WHERE CAN I GET THIS?
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    Oct 17, 2011 11:44 AM GMT
    If you have all those people to cook for and a big feast in the middle of it, be sure not to kill yourself by playing Nigella Lawson the whole time.

    Plan for a couple of meals to be very simple. Like pulling a big green salad out of the frig and serving it with some smoked fish and some nice bread from a good bakery. Don't feel like you have to blow people's minds with spectacular productions at every meal. Because that will definitely dim your enthusiasm for Christmas.

    Also, plan on using leftovers a lot: whatever your Christmas roast will be, it can easily be adapted a little for Boxing Day--maybe a hash? And keep in mind that with a big, festive meal as the centerpiece, you might want a meal or two that is very light, not at all sweet, to serve as a contrast.
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    Oct 17, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    Sounds like you're going to do a great job with the decorations and the food. Do you have room for one more?

    The only thing I'd suggest is to make sure you plan events/things that everyone enjoys. My family all likes doing different things so I make sure to carve out time to go for long walks with my Mom, play board games with my brothers, take my baby sister shopping and cook with my Dad. I also make sure to carve out some time for me to get away, relax and get in some workouts. Eating all that food, cooking for so many people and entertaining everyone fries me and I need some me time.
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    Oct 17, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    Lots of alcohol and xanex For everyone.

    Throwing in the occasional gift wouldn't hurt either.
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    Oct 17, 2011 6:06 PM GMT
    This shit.

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    Oct 17, 2011 8:40 PM GMT
    just make sure there's lots of beer! i usually get a keg to be safe icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:10 PM GMT
    Good for you...also do not forget the normal toiletries that family members always forget to bring last minute (shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, etc.) stock on the travel size from a pharmacy and have it ready for them. You can also have these already in a nice pre-package area when they arrive in their room, etc. Also, enough towels, etc.

    Another item for your itinerary during these festivities that I have done right after Xmas dinner or the next day is that everyone will go to the movies. The hard part is agreeing on what movie to seeicon_biggrin.gif

    We then return, you can have a nice dessert, with some hot chocolate, apple cider, etc.
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:23 PM GMT
    Just curious, do you open presents on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Morning? My ex-BF's Norwegian family always opened presents in the evening, which seemed odd to me, though apparently their national custom. I mean, isn't there a chance you'll run into Santa Claus and spoil everything?

    Santa.jpg