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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hosting My First Christmas Day Lunch

So how was your Christmas and New Years everyone? I hope you had a fantastic day surrounded by your friends and family eating, drinking and being merry! Before we get stuck into the New Year and it's resolutions I want to share a recap of my Christmas Day with you all :)
 
After weeks of preparing and planning our first Christmas Day Lunch the day seemed to whizz past and before long all the presents had been opened, the food eaten, and everyone had said their goodbyes and were heading home while Mr P and I tidyed up then poured a Pimms and Cranberry cocktail and had a relaxing dip in our new pool. It was over just like that ... it was a fantastic day I really enjoyed myself and loved having it our house.

  
Let's start with the food, everyone brings dishes to share which makes it so much easier when there are just a few to prepare - Mr P and I did the starters which were an antipasto platter, cheese board and BBQ prawns and mussels. I made some bocconcini, tomato and basil skewers I displayed on a stunning glass plate given to me by Marguerite Dore for my Christmas table and a separate post is coming about her products soon.
 


I didn't do my prawn starter as it was going to be too expensive to make for almost 30 people but in the end I spent it on the other starter dishes so I probably should have made it anyway! I peeled and marinated the prawns overnight in garlic, chilli, oil, salt and pepper and cooked on the BBQ simple and delicious. We had 2 BBQ Webers fired up at 8am in the morning and cooked a big turkey which we stuffed with apple, cranberry and macadamian nut stuffing and in the other Weber we did a big roast pork with lots of crackle. Unfortunately we got a bit distracted with a dozen people in the kitchen and burnt the pork crackle .... that was probably the biggest drama of the day!

 

I'm so glad my parents came over early to help, they arrived when I'd just gotten out the shower and dressed, the kitchen was a mess covered in breadcrumbs and dishes everywhere as we were madly trying to stuff the turkey and get it in the Weber! My lovely Mum helped me with the antipasto platter she even came prepared with tomatoes cut like flowers, curled spring onions and plenty of fresh herbs for garnishes. My Dad was outside with Mr P installing the mister kits under the patio, setting up the ping pong and other manly duties. I'm so blessed to have such awesome parents thanks Mum and Dad!
 
  
 

Once all the food was ready we laid it out buffet style inside on the dining room table and everyone came and filled their plates and their bellies. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the main food but I did manage a few of the delicious desserts ... trifle, layered ice cream, fruit salad, plum pudding with brandy and custard.

 

Now for my favourite part - the decorating! The backyard and patio got a big makeover and tidy up as we were going to spend our day al fresco. For the tables I had a red, white and silver colour theme which I found really easy to work with. Anything I could do ahead of time like prepare the cutlery by tying ribbon around them, washing and folding the napkins, etc I did in the days beforehand. I got heaps of table decorating ideas and inspiration from my Pinterest and decorated the tables the day before so I could take my time without rushing ... it took me about 3 hours in the end and I'm really happy with them ... relaxed, fun and festive!
 
 
We  had 13 kids and 14 adults so 27 people all up and trying to fit them all under the patio on one big table proved a bit difficult so we decided to set up 4 separate tables instead. The 3 trestle tables I borrowed as well as the chairs, the black wicker table and chairs set I already had.
 
 

 
The 2 kids tables I set with red table cloths and then ran striped wrapping paper down them to act as place mats and add some colour and fun.
 
 
 
 
For the 2 adults tables I set with red table cloths and used fabric table runners and napkins, this one had a red theme with a white table runner. My silver cake stand made a good holder for candles, ceramic balls and beads.
 
 
 
 
The other adults table had a red and striped table runner and I put my shiny silver deer and decorations along the runner.
 
 
 
 
The drinks table I set up with my new glass drink dispenser I got for $40 from Thingz Living there were heaps to choose from but I liked this one because the stand means it doesn't need to sit on the end of a table for the tap to work and also there's a really good seal on the lid - I filled this with water, lemon slices and ice but I can see myself making a few party punch mixes in it in the not to distant future! I made a big jug of Pimms and cranberry cocktail which was mixed with slices of orange, lemon, apple and mint and in the fridge ready and I just poured into cups with ice, topped up with lemonade and a cucumber stick it was a perfect summer drink I'll be making it again for sure.
 
 
 
I love the patio pimping decorations the paper flowers and bunting they really brightened up the area and made our rusty old patio look festive and fun. It was a bistro style set up with the tables and chairs which worked really well for a big group, we all fit comfortably and there was plenty of room to sit around, do our Secret Santa, eat, drink and be merry!
   
 
 
 
To keep cool we set up a mister spray kit on the edge of the patio which was plugged into the hose and let out a light spray of water. We also had a big fan plugged in to circulate the air. But the swimming pool was the biggest hit with most of the kids and teens jumping in to cool off and we have used it almost every day since, I can see us using it heaps this Summer.
 
 
 
 
So that was our Christmas Day it started off a little frantic trying to get everything ready but once the starters and the main was served we could relax with a few glasses of wine and enjoy the day with our family. And I can rest assured I won't be hosting Christmas again for at least another 5 years!
 
So how was your Christmas Day?
Were you the host or did you go somewhere?

 
[All images my own]
 
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16 comments:

  1. Well done on pulling off what looks to have been a great day - catering to so many people is hard work! Happy New Year and enjoy your new pool!

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    1. You are right Natalie it was hard having such a big group I couldnt use my nice crockery and cutlery like I wanted to because I would have had to buy another dinner set! But it was a great day thanks and Happy New 2014 to you too!

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  2. I didn't realize you were hosting for that many people! Yes, thank goodness for parents to come over early to help out! All of the food looks tasty and so elegantly prepared. I love all of the outdoor decorations, too! What a wonderful Christmas party you hosted!

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    1. Yes, now you know why I was a little stressed! But it all worked out ok thanks to my folks :) Thanks so much x

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  3. What a beautiful celebration! It's so funny to me that your Christmas occurs in the summertime. (That said I now live in San Diego and the temps were over 80 on Christmas Day so I guess it doesn't really matter if it's technically winter...) Happy New Year to you!

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    1. Yes opposite worlds arent we, thats why we celebrate Xmas in July too so we can have Christmas in winter and enjoy a nice hot roast dinner!

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  4. Your first hosting and it's for such a big crowd! You pulled it off with total style too. Merry new year to you all. x

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    1. Yes I think thats what I was most scared about the sheer volume of mouths to feed and all the kids/teens to entertain. Thankfully I pulled it off, anything else is going to be a walk in the park now :)

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  5. Congrats on your first Christmas hosting, looks like you pulled it off beautifully! Love the table decorations, very professional looking.

    My Christmas this year was spent in New Zealand with MR's family, so interesting to see how it's done in another country. It was a very relaxed but big family one. A hot meal because it's cool enough over there!

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    1. Thanks Megan :) Xmas in NZ sounds like a lot of fun I hope you had a great time. Yes the NZ summers are quite like ours are they, can't complain with a nice hot Chrissy dinner!

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  6. Everything looks so lovely! You did a good job.

    I had lunch at my best friends house (where I'm currently staying in NZ) & then we went to a girlfriends for dinner & desserts :) So much food eaten!

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    1. The progressive dinner, sounds like fun :) Hope your enjoying your NZ trip x

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  7. Great work, Happy New Year xxx

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    1. Thanks Rae Happy New 2014 to you too xx

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  8. Being Scandinavian I celebrate Xmas on Xmas Eve, but unfortunately we ended up in hospital spending the night with our little 6 month old boy having croup, and a few day later my husband got sick with gastro, so hasn't been the greatest Xmas holiday for us.

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    1. Oh no you poor thing I hope everyone is better now and theres no more sickness in your home! You will have to do another Xmas celebration when everyone is feeling better x

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