Hosting Christmas for Beginners

For some, hosting Christmas is an annual tradition. But, for those of you who are hosting your first ever Christmas for your family and friends – you may be a tad nervous.

Have you experienced a mind blank – forgetting anything and everything to do with what you’re currently doing?

Have no fear, AO is here to help! We’re here to help you with all those big questions – what makes a good host? What do people expect when they come for Christmas?

Be a happy hostess

First and foremost, people bounce off other people’s energy and moods. If you’re not beaming happiness and enjoying yourself, chances are your guests won’t be either. Keep a positive mind, relax and be a welcoming host and chances are, your Christmas will be a success.

Preparation, Prepare and Prep Some More

There are so many things you can prepare a few days before Christmas to lessen the workload, like cranberry sauce and stuffing – just freeze and take out on the big day!

Setting the table, getting the drinks cart stock, making your own centrepiece, it all needs to be done before the big day! Make your life easier before the day creeps up on you.

Stock up

If you’re expecting a full house this Christmas, make sure you stock up on food and drink – you do NOT want to run out of food throughout the day and have to face the rumbling roar of your relative’s hungry stomachs…

Anything left over can be used on Boxing Day – after all, Boxing Day is all about leftovers!

Hosting Christmas for Beginners | AO Home


Remember, Christmas is fun! Organise some fun games for after dinner, keep your guests entertained and allow yourself some downtime to join in and relax!

Don’t forget the blankets that like a post-lunch snooze!

Don’t hesitate to delegate

I’m sure your guests will be polite enough to offer a helping hand – don’t be prideful! Take the help. Someone could set the table, another takes care of drinks while someone else prepares the potatoes, the veg, the gravy… It doesn’t matter – extra help means extra time for you to relax!

Plus, sometimes cooking with your friends and family can be fun in itself!

Hosting Christmas for Beginners | AO Home

Cleaning Up

When it comes to cleaning up after the meal, make sure you pile everything on the side before loading the dishwasher (if you have one) – trust me this makes it much easier!

Arrange your dirty plates, cutlery, glasses, pots and pans together so you can tackle each section with ease. Make sure get your cutlery, plates/bowls and glasses in there first, you’re probably going to need to reuse these items sooner than your pots and pans.

Pots and pans are a lot easier to wash by hand as well, plus they take up unnecessary room in your dishwasher.

If you don’t have the luxury of a dishwasher, it’s probably best to do the washing in shifts. Say, plates, glasses and cutlery first – treat yourself to a glass of wine for your hard work (yes, any excuse, its Christmas after all!) – then come back and do the pots and pans.

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and one of your guests will offer to do the washing up – proceed with the necessary “no, don’t be silly, I’LL do them!” argument and then accept defeat and let someone else take over – you deserve it!!!

Sometimes, you’ll get even luckier if you have kids. You can give them the responsibility of washing up, put your feet up and get a good 30 minutes of relaxation and peace!


Remember: stay calm, enjoy yourself and have an amazing Christmas!