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Prepare the kitchen for Christmas

Bringing a little bit of good cheer to  your kitchen  is  indeed the first step towards getting ready for Christmas Day.

Opinion by Helen Devmac

The kitchen is the room where it will all be happening  on Christmas Day, family and friends will gather there as they often do for all family functions.

So if you are having family and friends over this Christmas, don’t overlook your kitchen, make it the  warmest and most inviting room in your home  and let friends and guests go away with warm memories of a wonderful Christmas.  There are many ways in which to get ready for the festive season in your kitchen.

Start out by  having  a  good  clean out and organising cupboards and drawers making sure that there is a place for everything and everything  is in its place, this will make it so much easier for you on the Day, no need to rummage through drawers looking for corkscrews.

Having good lighting will  also be important as most of your cooking will probably be taking place at night, in preparation for Christmas Day, so don’t let the light hinder your activities.

Plan well for the day
Enjoy being with family and friends, plan well for the day by ensuring that you know what you will be cooking and that all ingredients are at hand. This planning has to take place several days in advance and includes knowing just how many guests you will have on the day.

Lighting for the kitchen can further be enhanced by the use of spotlights in strategic areas such as over the hob, sink and food preparation counters. And seeing that it is Christmas, how about some mood lighting over your cabinets really emphasising your décor and objet d’art.

Check that all your appliances are in good working order, and give yourself a  break this Christmas by being prepared well ahead of the day. Get all your cooking utensils, plates, platters and glasses clean and ready, set aside, the really festive looking ones to incorporate into your  kitchen décor. Yes, decorate the kitchen because quite simply, it is the room where everybody will  be drawn to. Set the right mood for Christmas by cooking  early, so that as your guests arrive they are greeted by the wonderful aromas from your kitchen, aromas that will permeate throughout your home. Decorate your kitchen, using colours that not only complement your décor scheme but also  choose colours you  associate with  Christmas, bring these colours into your kitchen by :

Getting a red rug to replace your normal kitchen rug, and swop your usual dishcloths for those with a festive theme.
Replacing your ornaments and pictures in the kitchen with pictures and hanging  plates  depicting Christmas scenes.
Covering your range burners or plates with festive covers.

Getting a green pine wreath hanging over a cupboard or kitchen  door, will not only set the right mood for friends and family but will give your home that lovely fresh smell throughout the festive season.

Replacing fridge magnets with those  with a Christmas theme,  or find a collection of old Christmas cards that you can cut out and paste over the fridge door, get the kids to help cutting out and pasting.

Choosing tablecloths overlays and serviettes in festive colours, mix and match your colours to create the right ambience.

Buying candles in any colour and then drape them in tinsel, green red and gold, stand your candles on large sturdy plates and simply throw in sweets and chocolates in beautifully coloured wrappings  to create a warm welcome to your kitchen.
Having decorative platters of  snacks  arranged on your work tops, inter space these with tumblers full of jelly babies and tots in green and reds or sticks of multi-coloured candy.

Baking some cookies and decorate  them in white, green and red, and paint Christmas themes on your cookies, these can be offered  to your guests along with mince pies as they arrive on Christmas day. You could go the extra mile and paste beautifully coloured wrapping paper over your cabinets and wind multi-coloured tinsel around door knobs.

Having a soft toy adorned in a  Santa  suit, gracing the  top of  your  microwave or sitting at the window just above the sink,  your very own Santa! Fill a  large glass  bowl with  multi-coloured  Christmas  baubles and place this on one of  your kitchen counters. Pick flowers from your garden, use holly, red roses, and flame lilies to really shout out Christmas!
And remember that your décor must not be oppressive and overdone, less is always best, and while you are cooking and decorating your home, do take time to think about those who are less fortunate this Christmas, invite a lonely elderly person to dinner, take some of those treats to our kids on the streets.

Make a punch using  spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg ginger and allspice to offer your guests as they arrive for lunch.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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