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A Guide to Hosting Outdoor Holiday Events

November 30, 2018

With summer fast approaching and the holiday season upon us, it’s time to think about bringing your friends, family and food together for hosting the ultimate great outdoor gathering.

From seating and shade to cocktails and Christmas crackers, a lot that goes into planning an outdoor event.

To help you make the most of this magical time of year, here are a few tips to help you host the ultimate holiday get together.

Plan Ahead

The holidays are a time to stop, reflect and enjoy and that includes the host. No one wants to spend Christmas Day in the kitchen; cooking, cleaning or stressing. The #1 rule for hosting a stress-free outdoor event is planning.

From seating to serviettes, make sure you’ve got enough of everything to keep your guests fed, hydrated and happy. And check you’ve got adequate lighting in case your event kicks on into the night.

Ready, Set, Table

Once you know how many of your nearest and dearest are coming, it’s time to think about your table setting. If you haven’t used your outdoor setting this season, make sure it’s clean, rust-free and big enough to fit your guests. Table and chairs aside, think about how you’re going to decorate your outdoor setting.

Keep in mind – you’re at the mercy of the elements, so keep your decorations outdoor-friendly and straightforward. If you’re expecting a scorcher, make sure you’ve supplied shade, a tablecloth and cushions to keep your guests comfy and your chairs cool.

Not everything on your Christmas table needs to be shiny and new, so think about ways to bring in an element of hand-made to your holiday table.

Garden Games

Let’s face it – everyone has an awkward relative they haven’t seen since last Christmas. Outdoor games are a great way to break the ice and bring a festive element to your outdoor soiree. It’s also an excellent way to bring kids and teenagers into the fun.

If your backyard is big enough, there’s nothing better than an afternoon game of outdoor cricket. Or, if you’re hosting on your patio or verandah, there’s always outdoor Jenga, garden Connect Four or a good old game of cards.

If you don’t have any games, there are some great DIY games you can play with a few props, a little imagination and a good sense of humour.

Rain, Hail or Shine

When it comes to the weather, Australian Christmases can be unpredictable. Regardless of what the forecast says, always make sure you have a backup plan for rain, hail, wind or shine. If you have a covered area, it’s a good idea to set your table up there.

If you don’t have a verandah, consider a marquee or large garden umbrella. It’s not just rain or extreme sun that can get in the way of a good lunch, it’s also wind. Make sure you set up table weights to keep your tablecloth down.

If you’re using paper plates and napkins, make sure you weight them down to avoid them flying away. Lastly, always keep sunscreen and a few extra hats handy.

PS: don’t forget about insect repellent; flies and mozzies love Christmas as much you do!

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