Becoming the Ultimate Christmas Host
Hosting a perfect Christmas Day at your home is one of the biggest challenges you will have as an adult. Forget parenting responsibilities and paying the rent or mortgage – having friends and family over during the festive season can be one of the biggest challenges for grown-ups!
One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to achieve is because guests don’t realise the relaxed, pleasant atmosphere you have created in your home that seems completely natural actually takes careful planning and research. And why should they? After all, they are guests. Guests who have been invited to your home to spend time with you and your family during one of the happiest times of the year.
A lot of hosts are unaware that planning their household preparations for Christmas and New Year actually begins in late November or early December. As host, you have a duty to your guests not to be stuck in the kitchen all day and night during the festivities. Naturally, you will be spending a lot of time preparing and serving food, but you also get to enjoy yourself too!
At Ferratum Australia, we’re a multi-talented bunch who, in addition to processing cash loans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, can also host a brilliant Christmas dinner!
We have put our heads together to come up with a fool proof list of our best Christmas hosting tips and planning ideas just for you guys.
PLAN YOUR HOME IN ADVANCE
This is the part of the Christmas master plan that begins weeks before Christmas Day. We’ve all heard of spring cleaning but usually the house starts to slowly get less organised by Christmas so it’s best to get cleaning later than September! Around the start of summer is a good time to get everything ready. This is also a suitable time to do those little outside jobs that require attention from time to time, like painting the gutters on the exterior of your home and re-planting/landscaping your garden. The beautiful Australian weather is not too hot at this time of year which will help you complete your outside to do list.
Sort out your linen cupboard and check there are enough fresh towel sets, sheets and doona covers for your guests to sleep on if you have relatives due to stay at your home over the holiday season. You may find you need more linen or need to update your old sets. Planning ahead gives you enough time to save cash for these extra expenses. Even if you don’t have people staying, it’s always handy for those guests who unexpectedly crash the night at your place after one too many eggnogs. Ensure your guest rooms are clean and tidy so you don’t have a last minute, frantic cleaning session happening the day they arrive!
BUY YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS EARLY
No one wants to go shopping for anything on Christmas Eve. Every Australian shopping mall becomes a rabbit warren filled with panicking people rushing around, hastily buying last minute presents that will probably end up being returned after Boxing Day because zero thought has been put into the gifts.
Get your presents organised at least two weeks before Christmas to save the hassle of Christmas Eve retail madness. Gift giving can be extremely expensive, considering there is always other Christmas expenses each year. It is especially difficult if you live off of one income or you are a student or pensioner. If you feel a cash advance would be useful this Christmas, see if you meet Ferratum’s current lending criteria and apply for a loan. You can also check out our post on Christmas present ideas to give you some inspiration for gifts these holidays that are designed to save you money.
Now that your home and Christmas presents are organised, it’s time to get started on your Christmas day menu.
Firstly, organise your guest list and work out who you think will be attending your Christmas day lunch. Remember to make of a note of any dietary requirements they have.
Distribute some jobs amongst your family and guests. Drinks is something you can easily give to another member of the family to organise as soft drink and alcohol can be bought and stored weeks in advance. If anyone on your guest list would like to bring a dish, ask them to pitch in for either one of the desserts, or a cheese platter for guests to help themselves to as they arrive. Just make sure they tell you exactly what they are bringing so that you don’t double up!
Plan your Christmas menu down to the smallest detail so that you don’t spend too much of your money. It’s important to keep track of your budget and stay money wise when you do the food shopping for all of your recipes.
MAKE FOOD AHEAD OF CHRISTMAS DAY
The best tip we have for you is to prepare and make some dishes ahead of the big day. You don’t want to be sweating profusely at 1pm on Christmas Day hurriedly prepping veggies an hour before your guests are supposed to be arriving.
Most desserts can be made ahead of time and frozen in the lead up to Christmas Day. Take them out of the freezer on Christmas Eve before you go to bed and then place them back in the fridge on Christmas morning until it’s time to serve the dessert course.
Make dishes that can be frozen and stored for those days in between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve for dinner. You probably wouldn’t want to cook after the epic Christmas feast you are about to prepare so making a few meals ahead will be helpful. This is especially useful if you have guests staying with you. Easy to make dishes like shepherd’s pie, lasagne and pasta bake are perfect for lazy dinners. These dishes are also good for your cash flow as you will no doubt have other financial obligations at this time of year!
Shortbread can be baked about five days before Christmas and stored in airtight containers in your pantry for guests to enjoy after dessert with their tea and coffee late on Christmas Day.
Lastly, peel and chop your veggies and defrost the turkey on Christmas Eve. Veggie preparation is time consuming so it’s best to get this out the way the day before.
FERRATUM’S FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS RECIPES
Here’s the bit where we get to talk food! There are so many amazing Christmas recipes out there but these ones are our Ferratum team favourites. Some are simple to make, others are a little more complex but you can guarantee you won’t need to take out a personal loan to afford to cook these!
These recipes are from celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, Curtis Stone, Huey, Donna Hay and Adriano Zumbo.
To be served with tea and coffee
These recipes will give you and your guests a traditional Christmas experience that will taste amazing and take this year’s festivities to the next level. Purchasing most of the non-perishable ingredients a few weeks before can help you save money while preparing for the big day. Sometimes though, we need cash today to help us out of a tight spot financially. For a quick and easy payday loan solution, apply with Ferratum and see if you qualify for a cash advance today. There are no credit checks and the funds could be in your bank account within an hour.*
*Subject to the processing times of your nominated financial institution.