So you put your hand up to host the family Christmas lunch and as the date quickly approaches, you might be starting to regret that initial enthusiasm.

Well, we’re here to rekindle it! Hosting the Christmas Day lunch isn’t just an honour, it can also be fun. This is your chance to put your mark on the biggest event of the biggest day of the year.

If you want to host a feast that will become the family’s benchmark for excellence, read on to get some fabulous Christmas lunch ideas or click on the category where you need the most inspiration.


PICK AN ENCHANTING THEME

Your Christmas table setting can help set the tone for your feast and is a great chance for you to express your creativity.

Picking a theme involves choosing a colour scheme and design elements that will bring together your table setting. For inspiration, take a look at our three Christmas lunch themes below.


Traditional Red and Green

Embrace festive colours with a traditional red and green Christmas table. Create an innovative centrepiece by placing tall pillar candles inside an olive leaf wreath.

Scatter a few poinsettia stems across the table or arrange the dishes around a poinsettia garland running the length of the table.

Stick to simple Christmas dinnerware so the centrepiece remains the piece-de-resistance of your table setting.

MINIMALIST SILVER AND WHITE WITH NATURAL ELEMENTS

For minimalist effect, complement your white background with silver accents and natural elements.

Choose silver placemats and napkins with silver accents. Placeholders and wine glass charms can also feature silver patterns.

In the centre of your table, complement natural elements with white and silver ornaments. Tea candles will create a gorgeous glow inside ceramic white tea lights. Place a few olive leaf stems around the arrangement.

Stack white plates one atop another, finishing off with a silver ribbon wrapped around a napkin. Tuck a sprig or two into the ribbon to complete the look.

CONTEMPORARY GOLD AND WHITE

Give your Christmas table a touch of class with modernist, metallic gold accents. The key here is to create a crisp white backdrop the gold accents can stand out against.

A great decor idea is to combine gold with glassware for a sophisticated effect that amplifies the metallic shimmer of your accents.

Choose wine glasses and flutes with gold patterns and create a cohesive look by combining them with glass bauble place card holders with gold glitter inside. A clear vase in the centre of the table can hold gold baubles, tinsel, and glitter.

Keep your table linens, plates, and serving dishes white so the golden accents in your decor stands out.

FIND BUDGET FRIENDLY DECORATIONS

The festive season can be costly enough with you breaking the bank on your Christmas decorations. But you really don’t have to spend a bucketload to add some impressive Christmas cheer to your dining room.

We have plenty of great ways you can repurpose your existing decor or create some amazing DIY Xmas decorations that will bring great festive spirit to your Christmas lunch.

  • Have you emptied plenty of bottles of wine during the course of festive family catch ups and dinner parties? Repurpose those empty bottles into candleholders. The necks are often just the right size for thin candles. Just decorate with wrapping paper and ribbons that go with your table settings.
  • Fill a glass vase or bowl with decorations. These could be silver or gold baubles, tinsel, and light up garlands or natural elements - pine cones, poinsettia and olive leaf stems, or even unshelled nuts.
  • Spray paint some pine cones in metallic silver and gold. You can scatter these over your dinner table or place them in a glass vase.

PLAN A SCRUMPTIOUS MENU

The Christmas lunch is the main event on Christmas Day, but the preparation can often be sweaty, stressful, and slightly chaotic.

There are plenty of ways to make your Christmas lunch prep not just easy but enjoyable. For starters, be sure you’ve got a solid menu plan and have bought the ingredients in advance.

You can even prepare many of the menu items - such as salads and roast veggies - ahead of time so they’re ready to go on the table come Christmas Day.

Be sure to invite the whole family in on the action. Delegate one dish or one task to each family member - pop on some Christmas carols to get everyone in the festive spirit.

Not entirely sure what to serve up? Get inspired with these two menu themes below.

THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DINNER

Whether you call it the Christmas dinner or Christmas lunch, this is the meal you grew up on.

The traditional Christmas lunch covers all the classics:

Make it easier for yourself by buying an oven-ready turkey. If you are feeling particularly energetic or creative, cook your bird from scratch and stuff it on Christmas Eve.

You can also chop up any herbs or veggies you plan to cook the turkey with in advance and just store them in the fridge in containers.

Here are some other smart ideas to prepare the meal before the big day:

  • Create your Christmas gravy well in advance. It can be frozen and defrosted before lunch. Just add juices from the Christmas turkey before you serve it up.
  • Freeze your stuffing in an oven dish so you can just throw it in the oven once it’s defrosted. Or cook it before you freeze it so you only need to warm it up on the day - especially good if you have a small oven.
  • Peel and chop your roast potatoes the night before. Store them in a water-filled container overnight so they don’t brown.
  • Buy a ready-made Christmas pudding and personalise it with your own custard.
  • Make any other cold desserts ahead of time to serve up straight away.

THE SUMMER CHRISTMAS LUNCH

The sun is out and it’s roasting hot … so why would you want to crank up the heat in your kitchen with the stove top and oven going full-bore?

A cold spread makes your Christmas lunch so much easier to organise (you can do plenty of prep in advance) and keeps you cool. Lunch ideas could include:

  • Fresh salads
  • Crackers
  • Dips
  • Cheese
  • Cold cuts
  • Simple BBQ meats
  • Pavlova

You can really mix up the Christmas spread with a range of colourful and delicious salads. Check out some of the recipes below for some inspiring, fresh ideas:

A light, fresh Christmas lunch like this helps cut down on prep time, but there are plenty of things you can do before Christmas Day so it’s a hassle-free affair on the day. This includes:

  • Preparing salads the day before.
  • Cooking ham or roast beef two days before to serve cold or reheat just before mealtime.
  • Prepare cold desserts, such as a pavlova or chocolate mousse, the day before to be ready to serve up on the day.

AMUSE THE FAMILY WITH FUN ACTIVITIES

If you’ve ever prepared the main Christmas meal, you’ll be familiar with those annoying refrains of “Is it ready yet?”.

Having some activities ready is a great way to keep everyone out of the kitchen and well amused until the roast turkey is on the table.


Christmas Games for Adults

Adults might not go for colouring in (although it is the craze now), but they’ll be up for Christmas games, karaoke and trivia quizzes - especially when they’re Christmas themed!

Some easy, budget-friendly Christmas party games for adults include:

  • Candy Canes: a card game played just like Spoons, but with candy canes instead.
  • Ornament Guess: your guests guess the number of Christmas decorations on your tree, with the winner awarded a little treat.
  • Two Truths and a Lie (Christmas edition): you can talk about best or worst Christmas memories or gifts - a great conversation starter.
  • Name That Carol: guests are split into teams and have to hum Christmas carols for their teammates to guess.
  • Charades (Christmas edition): the classic game, using movies, books, and songs with a festive theme.

Printable Christmas songs

Download this colourful, printable Christmas song sheet and get the whole family in on some Yuletide carolling.

Download our FREE Christmas song sheets


Printable Christmas Quiz

Download our free, printable Christmas trivia questions and answers. Pick a Christmas trivia host, have some candy canes ready as rewards, and have some fun!

Download our FREE Christmas Trivia Quiz


Christmas Games & Activities for Kids

Some of the games and activities for adults work equally well for kids, but younger children might need something a little simpler to distract them from the delicious sights of pavlova and pudding.

Some simple, DIY Christmas games for kids include:

  • The Jingle Bell Toss: kids have to toss jingle bells into colourful cups.
  • Christmas Biscuit Decorations: have some plain Christmas bikkies and some consumable decorations - coloured icing, M&Ms, choc chips - ready for the kids to decorate.
  • Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph: the classic game, swapping the donkey out for Rudolph. Print out a template here.
  • Santa Says: just like Simon Says, but with Christmas themed instructions (wrap a present, remove a stocking from the mantlepiece, etc).
  • Candy Cane Hunt: With their hooks, candy canes can be far more fun to hide than Easter eggs!

Christmas colouring pages printable
Set up a craft station where kids can decorate these colouring in pages, a great activity they can do on their own.

Be sure to have lots of crayons, pencils, and textas on hand to help them create masterpieces. Why not include glitter, stickers, ribbons, and tinsel for them to stick on these pages too?

To make it even easier for you, we’ve created these free Christmas colouring in pages so all you have to do is download and print them out!


Spark the Conversation

Want to kick off your Christmas lunch with laughter? How about putting a funny Christmas quote or a quirky festive fact on every guest’s dinner plate to read aloud.

Below are some fabulous quotes and fun facts that will have people chuckling right from the start.


Funny Christmas quotes
  • “Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” - Victor Borge
  • “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and receipts for all major purchases.” - Bridger Winegar
  • “Christmas is a state of mind and that special feeling that only comes with an empty bank account.” - Melanie White
  • “A Christmas miracle is when your family doesn’t get into a single argument all day.” - Melanie White
  • “Sending Christmas cards is a good way to let your friends and family know that you think they’re worth the price of a stamp.” - Melanie White
  • “Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.” - Larry Wilde
  • “Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries Not Included.” – Author Unknown
  • “There are some people who want to throw their arms round you simply because it is Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it is Christmas.” – Robert Staughton Lynd
  • “There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus.” - Bob Phillips
  • “The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.”– Joan Rivers

Fun facts
  • Yule was originally a pagan midwinter festival connected to Norse mythology. Odin was the Yule Father who led a Wild Hunt across the sky.
  • Noel is a French word that means “birth”.
  • The term “Xmas” was first used in the 16th century.
  • The first artificial Christmas trees were made from goose feathers dyed green.
  • Thomas Edison created the first electric light Christmas display in 1880.
  • The poinsettia is native to Mexico.
  • KFC fried chicken is so popular in Japan on Christmas Day that people start lining up on Christmas Eve to get it on Christmas Day.
  • In Finland, Santa doesn’t ride on a sleigh but on a straw goat called Ukko.
  • People in Iceland exchange books on Christmas Eve and spend the night reading them. The tradition means Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country.
  • Jingle Bells was actually written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas.
  • Kissing under the mistletoe started as a tradition among servants of Victorian households.

For your convenience, we have created a selection of printable cards that you can add to the Christmas lunch table.

Download printable Christmas quotes & fun facts


SAY THANKS WITH SIMPLE PARTY FAVOURS

A lovely way to thank your guests for joining them for your Christmas Day feast (and for pitching in with a plate or two) is to gift them a small party favour.

Of course, the natural choice here is the goodies reaped from their Christmas crackers. Gourmet Christmas crackers ensure you skip the usual tacky knick knacks and get something amazing - such as assorted chocolates.

How about filling a mason jar with their favourite Christmas foods? It could be Christmas biscuits, chocolates, or rock candy. You can even decorate the jar with their own personal bauble or tree decoration.

Wine is an easy and effective party favour that will have everyone happy. Dress it up with a cute wine bottle bag or a fancy faux fur wine bottle stole.

RELAX AND ENJOY YOURSELF

You’ve done all you could. The table is set, the meal cooked. You’ve got plenty of entertainment in store for your family and guests.

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour - or rather, the roasts, salads, and desserts!

Stay on track with your Christmas checklist with our Christmas Countdown guide. Or have you left it to the last minute? It’s only natural! Get up to speed on your Christmas festivities with our Last Minute Christmas Guide!