Crush: 5 tips for an effortless holiday dinner

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It’s no easy task to organise a dinner at home, especially when it’s for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Here are some tips to keep calm and have as much fun as your guests.

1. Prepare your menu in advance

We can’t say it enough: organisation is everything. To avoid bad surprises, take the time to think out your menu (from the aperitif to the dessert by way of the side dishes) a week in advance. And, because individual diets are also important, make a few phone calls ahead of time so that no one is left with an empty plate.

Photo: Instagram / @3615buffet

2. Delegate

Just because you volunteered to host the meal this year doesn’t mean you have to do absolutely everything. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, ask your guests to bring a bottle, the dessert or even some snacks.

3. Opt for a festive but simple table

There’s no point in dreaming up a table pulled straight from a glossy magazine. And, since most of the items will only be used once, scrounge around your house and see what you find: some candles, some dried flowers for a floral touch and an old lace tablecloth from your grandmother or a friend will do the job just fine.

Photo: Instagram / @sabinasocol

Also see: Ceramist Sarah Boyeldieu’s Christmas table

4. Plan an activity

Although dinners can be lively, they can also feel long – especially when there are several courses. To keep guests from getting bored between the dishes, plan a few games or activities, adapted to everyone’s tastes. Adults will be glad to avoid never-ending political discussions and little ones will be delighted to (finally) participate.

5. Tidy up as you go along

After spending hours at the table, all the guests go home. Meanwhile, the hosts find themselves buried under piles of dirty dishes and mountains of gift-wrap. Choose a specific spot to put all the wrapping paper and packaging and do dishes a little at a time (you can even ask for help!) to avoid facing an onslaught of work at the end of the night.

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