Clever tips for stress-free Christmas entertaining

Here are some top tips for stress-free Christmas entertaining.

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry, but sometimes playing hostess can feel more like a burden than a blessing. Is there a way to throw the perfect soiree—headache-free? The answer is yes but you’ll have to work smart instead of hard. And you must be willing to let go of certain things like a really complicated Christmas dish or the pleasure of making everything yourself. Luckily, it’s all worth it as you will have less time stressing and more time entertaining and making wonderful memories.

Forget tradition

A lamb leg on the barbecue is a lot easier to prepare than a roast turkey, an ice-cream cake simpler than a Christmas pudding and peanut butter biscuits take just 15 minutes, as opposed to shortbread. According to, you can forget tradition and cook a feast your guests will want to eat in the middle of an Australian summer. Like this marinated grilled prawn recipe or this easy salt and pepper prawn recipe that’s guaranteed to dazzle your guests.

Add your own touch to ready-bought ingredients

There’s a reason shops sell Christmas puddings and ready-made hams – so you can buy them at the last minute and then add your own touch. For example, buy individual Christmas puddings, but make a wickedly indulgent boozy custard, or grab a good-quality cooked ham, and choose an easy glaze recipe to make it special. Throw the packaging away and no one will know the difference. Here’s a quick glaze recipe that you can use.

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Call in the reinforcements

There’s no shame in asking family and friends to help prepare a Christmas dinner, so delegate, delegate, delegate!  Decide on the menu, find out who is good at making what and divide up the work. Easy.


Choose dishes you can prepare well ahead of time and can either be served cold or just popped in the oven. Anything that needs cooking at the last minute or is overly fiddly should be forgotten. This Traditional Christmas Egg Nog recipe can be done the day before and kept refrigerated. 

Stick with easy recipes

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If you still want to make your own desserts, chose recipes that don’t require baking. It saves time and chances of coming out with a successful spread is much higher. Alternatively, there are also recipes that still require some form of cooking or baking but with minimal ingredients. Here are some of our top recommendations:


Three ingredient Christmas apricot balls

White Christmas slice

No-bake lemon and coconut slice 

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Bailey’s custard tart (use ready-made ingredients).


How are you making Christmas preparations easier? Any tips to share with the community?