Christmas Lunch: Day of Festivity or Host's Worst Nightmare?
By Katherine Houston
The mince pies are cooling, the roast is in the oven, the ham is sliced and the seafood entre is 'mis en place' to go on the BBQ. The guests are arriving in 40 minutes and... you've forgotten the mint sauce.
We've all been there: hosting. Friends and family are just minutes from our doorsteps and we suddenly realise we've forgotten something crucial. What do you do? We want to help you prevent that little catastrophe, whether it's mint sauce for the roast lamb, toys for the baby or Champagne to suit your mother-in-law.
We couldn't possibly list every single item you may need from the supermarket, but providing there's nibbles to start, a substantial main, desserts and cheese, you can't go too wrong. Don't overlook the finer details, like if there are children around the table (hold the caviar?), or seasonal condiments. And if you're only going to bring those key condiments out once a year, assign different friends to the main players that only get a round in on Christmas.
Hand-in-hand with your food shop should be a quick check of any food allergies. Is anyone gluten intolerant, vegan, vego, or just can't have onions? Suss this out before your big grocery shop and it might be a simple case of checking the back label of the gravy to find one everyone can enjoy. There will be plenty of vegetarian and vegan alternatives, which a brief search online should point you in the right direction to ensure everyone's covered. There's nothing worse than dishing up barbequed prawns, slicing up the fresh honey leg ham and pulling the roast lamb out of the oven to then realise half your attendees have given up eating meat.
The fun part. Or is it? Surely you can grab some Champagne or sparkling wine, some red wine for later, get some beers for the guys, grab some gin for something different, plus tonic for mixing and limes for flavour, and Gary loves some whisky after dinner too, plus some port would be nice with the cheese, and - this has now become quite an exhaustive drinks menu!
If you don't have all the extras, you can ask your guests to bring a bottle each. Alternatively, if you have a GO Mastercard or Gem Visa, you can shop with one of these and get up to 55 days interest free*, which can help soften the blow. Or spend over $250 and you'll get six months interest free on your Gem Visa*.
Everyone's pretty stoked that it's Christmas, so getting friends or family together and enjoying themselves over a big meal is usually enough to keep people entertained. It's always good to have something up your sleeve though, so take that into consideration. The little ones will probably need a bit more attention. It's not a bad idea to have a dedicated area for kids, such as toys and game options for younger children, a Christmas movie on standby ready to roll, or a quiet area for newborn babies. Older children may want to entertain themselves in the backyard with sports or other games. It's even worth reaching out to your friends who are bringing their children to also bring along their favourite game or a football/cricket bat/movie - saves you guessing!
Christmastime involves spending time with your loved ones, which could mean you have five times the amount of people around the table! Catering for crowds with food, drinks and the rest can add up pretty easily. But if you have a Gem Visa and spend over $250, you'll have six months interest free*, allowing you more time to manage your budget. Alternatively, you could check out our new Latitude Low Rate Mastercard that we've packed with a bunch of extra features. Like Price Protection, Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty that can all benefit you when you shop. How savvy is that?
* To take advantage of up to 55 days Interest Free on everyday credit card purchases, you must pay the full balance of the account (excluding un-expiring Interest Free promotional plans) on each statement of account by the applicable due date.