Let me start off with wishing every-one a merry Christmas and a happy New Year for 2011.
1) Taking into consideration all the emotions that go with Christmas we firstly have the joy of Christmas – the excitement, the hassle and the stress. These come in hand in hand over the holidays.
2) Try and plan this Christmas ahead of time, as time always seems to be a stress factor.
3) Divide the menu up among the family, allowing each member or guest to make something. First ask what they make the best, what they will be comfortable making. Allow flexibility with that, you might have thought that a starter salad will be best but your guest knows how to make a great shrimp’s dish. So allow for flexibility. This will also make them feel special.
4) For the family members living under the same roof, give those tasks, tell them what you expect of them, instead of just saying, will someone please get over here and help me. Let it be known ahead of time what they must do. You are the boss if you want to be or not, so be clear on what you expect to be done, and when you expect it to be done.
5) Even divide the Christmas shopping up, you are cooking so you buy the food that will be needed, this will probably be supplies for more than one day. Or allow one person to buy all the fruit and vegetables.
6) Allow a guest to buy the drinks instead of bringing their contribution of the menu. One can buy the soft drinks and another wine etc.
7) Here are some things to remember in your menu, starter, main dish, potatoes or rice or pasta, warm vegetables, salads, pies try to serve as much fresh vegetables as possible as the other food will be heavy and the salads or cooked vegetables will be light on the stomach. For the desert wait at least thirty minutes before you serve it, followed by a cup of coffee or tea.
8) Before serving desert allow anyone to help remove things from the table and even do the washing up. Do not leave this to be done by you the next day it will only add stress to your Christmas joy. Besides others do enjoy contributing, allow them to.
9) There are a lot of women who do not like others to do anything in their kitchen. Get over it. Believe it or not this is like not asking anyone to come and play, we like to play together. Besides a lot of juicy conversation originates in the kitchen.
10) Be happy you as the boss set the tone of all the joy and happiness that will be had this evening, so if you want it to be a happy occasion you set the happy tone.