My Blog

So You're Thinking about Hosting Your First Christmas Dinner | Bridal Advice | South Florida Wedding Planner
11-01-2018 by Renee

So You’re Thinking About Hosting Your First Christmas Dinner 

As a newlywed (or newlywed-to-be), there are few things as exciting and potentially stressful as hosting your first Christmas Dinner. My advice to you is DON’T DO IT! Seriously. LOL Put it off for as long as you can. However, if you really have your heart set on hosting Christmas dinner, here are some tips that will help you survive your first Really Big Family Dinner.


Plan your guest list. Before you offer to host this or any other holiday, be sure you know what that means. If your in-laws are a close knit family and never spend a Christmas apart, remember that you won’t likely be able to invite your Mother- and Father-in-law without inviting all your sisters- and brothers-in-law. Run through the list before you start extending invitations. You don’t want to end up with 36 guests when you were originally anticipating an intimate party of 8.


Plan your menu in advance.  At least two to four weeks in advance plan your menu. And don’t be shy about asking everyone to bring a dish! People generally are more relaxed when they feel that they helped with the meal in some way, especially if they don’t know the other guests all that well. Insert pix Call your Mom, and your Mother-in-law for a recipe. Every family has “classic family dishes” for Christmas (or any holiday). Don’t be afraid to ask for help and information on how to make the favorite dish of each of your families. YES there is the pressure that it won’t be as good as Mom’s, but there is also the love that comes with knowing that you tried. (Or better yet, have them bring their favorite dish!).

Don’t procrastinate. This is a big job. If you don’t realize that, you are underestimating the amount of work the two of you need to do. Planning is your friend.

•Looking at your menu, make a grocery list. Shop for non-perishable items.

•Double check that you will have enough bakeware, pans, dinner plates, silverware, servingware, and stemware.

•Make a sticky note for each dish. Lay out your baking dishes and pans and put the corresponding sticky note in the right dish. This will help you visualize whether or not you need additional kitchenware.

•Looking at your menu, map out the cooking timeline for Christmas day. Which dishes can be made the day before?

•Clean out and rearrange the refrigerator to make room for any dishes you will be making ahead of time.

 Set your table ahead of time. Put some time into making your table look pretty. It sets the mood and shows people you care. It can be as simple as a tablecloth from Target and a centerpiece of pine cones and fruits, but SET YOUR TABLE. If you don’t have any ideas for table settings Google Christmas table settings or look on Pinterest. I like to set my table at least a day or two ahead of time. The more you can do ahead of the big day, the better!


Have a signature drink for everyone to try when they first arrive. My Mom and Dad were the masters of the hosted holiday and always started it off with snacks and booze. I learned from them. There is a reason why weddings have a cocktail hour: they help to lubricate the mood. Serve something tasty like Mimosas or Christmas Sangria and everyone is sure to have a good time. I inevitably have one cooking disaster at every dinner party, but I’ve found that if everyone has a couple of drinks ahead of time, it doesn’t really matter – and the food tastes better too!

Stay cool. The most important thing is to stay cool and make everyone feel welcome. Your guests won’t remember so much what they ate as they will remember the way you made them feel. Have a good time and they will too!

All of us here at The Golden Pineapple Company hope you have the happiest of holidays! Did anyone else host? What did you serve? Was there dancing and caroling or just eating and gift-exchanging? Did you break out the cloth napkins? Let us know - we'd love to hear all about it!.