Most of my adult life I have hosted Christmas at my home, as I love Christmas and if I am honest I thrive on the stress, hustle and bustle of getting things sorted in time. One Christmas Day we had 8 guests in our small 2 bed cottage, and they all stayed over to! We had to be creative with sleeping arrangements on that occasion. Anyway, the events are now more civilised in the fact that everyone who comes and wants to stay over will be allocated a bed. I have also started a tradition of having a Christmas Eve Soiree (only for a couple of hours, for about 20 people) for friends and family, having champagne and canapés, but I love it and it is lovely to see everyone, even if it is for only a couple of hours. Over my time hosting ‘Christmas’ I have learnt what an ideal guest should do (or not) and want to share with you some of the key things you can do to assist your host at Christmas time if you are a guest.
- Do come with goodies! I have had some lovely bottles of champagne, candles, chocolates and wine brought by my guests over the years, which all go down well with your host. Top tip – DO NOT take flowers or plants – as I find my house is full to bursting point and I have been and procured all the flowers etc. I need to make my house look amazing for the festive period, I would suggest if you want to give flowers this would be a nice gesture after the festivities, nothing better to have some lovely fresh flowers for January when all the decorations have been packed away, Bloom & Wild have a lovely selection to choose from.
- Liaise with your host in advance and offer gastronomic contributions, it may well be easier for the host to sort all this themselves but an offer to contribute is a nice touch. Personally, I like to procure all my own food as I am a bit of a control freak and need to ensure I have everything sorted!
- If you have accepted an offer to join people for Christmas, you should attend in the mind set of ‘being in the Christmas spirit’ no one wants someone to come and put a dampener on the day.
- Go with the flow on the day, and ensure you chat to everyone. If there are children in attendance, try to assist in keeping them occupied and happy, nothing worse than upset or fractious poppets.
- Offer assistance to your host, generally someone hosting Christmas has it all under control, but may want help with pouring drinks (make sure the host has one!) , taking food to table once all ready and of course assisting with dishes once the meal is finished. Top Tip – DO NOT stuff the Turkey when the host is out for a walk! (yes, this really happened once to me and they used the wrong stuffing – I was vexed!)
- Do not comment on the hosts methods of preparing the meal, it may result in a snappy response from the host! just saying…
- Finally, send a hand written thank you card or note, call me old fashioned but I do love a hand written note. I have always encouraged Lily to write thank you notes after Birthdays and Christmas as I think it is a lovely gesture, and most people really appreciate the effort.