Here’s how to plan for the perfect Christmas dinnerDecember 25, 2022
There are only a few days to go until Christmas and while there is cheer in the air, for many there is also mounting stress about putting on the family lunch or dinner.
Whether you are hosting a meal for three or 20, below cookbook author and award-winning chef Grace Stevens shares her top three ways to enjoy a memorable Christmas.
1. Choose to bake not buy
“One of the first signs that the Christmas season has arrived in our home is the smell of freshly baked treats. In fact, the minute I start baking with cinnamon and ginger, my family know it is Christmas time, as these smells are synonymous with the festive season.
“I especially enjoy making home-baked gifts like shortbread biscuits, tarts, or pretty tea cakes. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are made from the heart and show the recipient just how much they mean to you.
“Even better is the fact that you can get the whole family involved, especially young children, if you are baking for teachers and grandparents.”
2. Create personal traditions
“Christmas time comes with a huge helping of nostalgia but over time this can begin to lose charm and perspective. Reinventing common Christmas traditions or putting your own spin on old favourites creates an intimate set of habits and rituals that are unique to your family, and which will bring a whole new meaning to the season.
“Our family, for example, have dessert for breakfast on December 16, with steaming hot waffles and ice cream and lashings of runny chocolate spread. It’s our own little holiday tradition which we have done for years, and for us, fondly marks the start of the holidays.”
3. Don’t overload the schedule
“It’s easy to want to do as much as possible during these precious few days you have together with loved ones, especially if they’re coming from afar. However, a few things done fabulously is way better than lots of things that are rushed.
“Take time to make meaningful memories and don’t clutter the days with lengthy to-do lists that will cause nothing but stress. Simple things like baking and decorating a gingerbread house can be so much fun if done with all the family (but just try to forget about the mess).
“Music is also a great way to get everyone loose and into the festive vibe, as is spending an afternoon doing absolutely nothing but rewatching your favourite Christmas movies. Remember, it’s not what you do, but who you do it with that counts.”