Make a special guest appearance
We’re officially into the Christmas season in our house with the yearly ritual of putting up the tree already done and dusted.
Somehow, we’ve managed to get off the hook for hosting the family this time around but having put in the effort and expense this time last year, it’s given me a new appreciation for the work involved.
As a result, I’ll be trying to be the guest I’d like to see at my own table, if you follow, by adhering to a few rules.
For me, the first rule of being a thoughtful Christmas guest is not to come empty-handed. And I don’t just mean bringing an empty stomach.
Because when you’ve laid on the best you can afford to feed the family, it’s a little disheartening when guests turn up with not so much as a bottle of soft drink to add to the table.
Really, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a bread stick or three, a tub of ice cream or a bottle of champagne (my personal preference), as long as you bring something to share.
I’d also suggest familiarising yourself with the kitchen. While this is often left to the ladies, there’s no special force field stopping the male members of the family entering this space.
If you don’t have something to prepare, offer to carve the roast or pack the dishwasher. Even clearing the table of plates at the end of each course (and cleaning them of leftover food) will take a little of the load off the host.
Perhaps the most essential thing to bring to the Christmas table though, is a positive attitude. Your host’s home may not be to your taste and you may not approve of their DIY efforts but this is not the day to point that out, even if you are related. Opening your home is an act of hospitality and generosity, so respond in kind. They’ve made an effort, so you can too.