Lifestyle · December 14, 2019

What We Learnt Hosting 13 For Our First Christmas


With Christmas around the corner, I thought I’d do a little post reflecting on the things Joe and I learnt hosting for the first time last year, in case anyone is about to throw themselves into the chef and ‘front of house’ (clearly I’m great at welcoming and serving drinks) roles this December 25th.

It can feel pretty overwhelming taking on the hosting duties at Christmas (HOW DO PARENTS MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY PLEASE?) So I thought I’d pop a little post together- comprised of notes I made last year from my phone (fresh after the leftovers were finished and the final dishwasher round had been done) about some of the biggest lessons we learnt from hosting the big day…

plus, it couldn’t have been too bad because we’ve offered to host again this year…


Don’t worry about other people’s planning- just worry about your own…

One thing I worried a lot about, which will come as a HUGE surprise (ahem)- is comparing what we’d organised compared to what other people had sorted. Hosting is very en vogue at the moment- and it can feel like everyone is an expert in the kitchen, cooking a roast and setting a table- but different strokes for different folks, y’all. You might be the kind of kitchen chef that can throw things in the oven and a marvellous feast come out, or you might be someone that relies heavily on an Excel spreadsheet to get things done to precision- both are fine! So even if you haven’t got your Matilda Goad napkins and matching candles, don’t fret! Whatever you do will be lovely, and a bit of a kitchen roll normally does the trick too. If you want some expert tips for planning Laura Jackson and Hoste always have some excellent ones.

If things don’t all match don’t feel like you have to make them…

If there is just two of you living in one house you don’t need over 12 sets of things. Fact. Don’t worry about asking people to bring crockery or cutlery along to help out, and even if it’s just small details that match and tie everything together- that’s more than enough. Buy some ribbon to tie bows on plates if you like. To snazz up the table I bought linen napkins from amazon (£20 for 12) and cut eucalyptus from our plant at home to make things look fancy. It can feel like you need to dot every i and cross every t for the perfect place setting, but as long as people have something to eat on that isn’t the palm of your hand, you’re doing ok!


Prep as much as you can…

…and if people offer to chip in don’t see it as defeat. We kindly had both sets of parents help with alcohol and elements of pudding and cheeses which was such an enormous help. Initially I was like ‘NOPE. I CAN DO IT ALL’, but there’s no shame in having everyone contribute if they offer (or if you need someone to, don’t be afraid to ask)! Hosting is a big deal- so even if it’s a hand with washing up, or bringing a couple of bottles- that’s not a bad thing at all.

…but don’t stress yourself out with it!

Some people we’d spoken to mentioned preparing things days and weeks before- but honestly, if you know what you’re doing it doesn’t have to be stressful. Joe made a spreadsheet (lol) with timings so we’d remember when to pop things in, but we didn’t need a running order of the day. Equally, if you want to prepare a Christmas itinerary, go ahead! Christmas, along with any special occasions, is so personal- so do whatever it takes to make sure you have the most stress-free enjoyable day possible.


And finally, higgeldy piggeldy isn’t a bad thing…

Although we have a small space- as long as everyone had somewhere to sit (be it a bench, chair or corner of a sofa) it was being together that mattered. The charm of having a family Christmas, is having everyone there- and there’s something quite Richard-Curtis-film-esque about being piled around a small table, pulling crackers with wonky paper hats on that makes Christmas special- so embrace it- it’s only once a year after all!



  • Reply
    Mariya Zafirova
    December 14, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    It looks amazing!

    Mariya |

  • Reply
    December 15, 2019 at 8:21 am

    This is such a beautiful setup


  • Reply
    December 23, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Love this! Could you post the links for the recipes you used for your Christmas feast? Would love to replicate for my own 🙂 Merry Christmas xx

  • Reply
    August 18, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Enjoyed your writing, expecting some further great works!

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