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What have I just done <wail>

(33 Posts)
GlaikitFizzogOnaNeepyLantern Sun 23-Oct-11 20:17:28

I've just invited my entire family (in laws too) for christmas <points gun at head and pulls trigger>

DS was born in April so we said then we'd have Christmas at oour own house 150 miles from where we are from and all our family. Originally it was my parents and brother that were coming, DSis was going to her boyfriends. All good there then.

Sadly, FIL passed away in July so it would just be SIl and MIL on their own for Christmas, so DH has invited them down too. My DSis has since split with her BF so will be coming now too.

They will all have to stay overnight, we have a spare room with a double bed and sofa bed in the study so thats DMum DDad SIL & MIL, DSis and DBro will have to be on the sofas in the living room.

Our dining table only sits 6, my kitchen is tiny (but hopefully will be a new kitchen by Christmas with a new oven).

I feel ill thinking about how I'm going to manage it all. This will also be the first christmas without my mums mum and dads dad so I can see it being a high emotion day anyway, throw in me having to cook for 8 adults and deal with a 8mo DS. DH will b great I already know that, but I am the cook here

I need coping strategies please!

firsttimer78 Sun 23-Oct-11 20:21:02

Deep breath!

Prep as much as you can in advance, e.g. peel veg then freeze etc and ask others to contribute with no-cook starter, pud and nibbles.

Or order in a takeaway! wink

Waswondering Sun 23-Oct-11 20:22:21

When are they all coming as that may stagger it .... could some only come on the day? Are there b&b options nearby (they may not mind on Christmas night decanting after the festivities ...)

You've a lot of people on sofas ... could your ds come into your room for that night, potentially freeing up a bedroom/floor space?

With that number of people coming I'd delegate now what you want them to bring - so: x - please bring soup, enough for everyone; y - please bring a dessert - what about that fabulous one you did at such and such a family party, we all loved it etc.

And enjoy - it's one day ...

(any chance of booking a couple of days away just you, dh and ds on 27th to recover???)

Good luck!

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Sun 23-Oct-11 20:22:34

How would they all feel about going to a restaurant for the meal??

It is my idea of hell.

Cheeseandseveredfingersarnie Sun 23-Oct-11 20:24:25

i always do this!i forget each year and come over all nice and invite everyone(waifs and straysgrin)to our house!mind you,i dont cook,dh doesgrin

canyou Sun 23-Oct-11 20:28:57

How big is your freezer? I have my soup made and frozen, ditto the stuffing mix, my veg is from my garden so again I just need to pop in boiling water on the day or the steamer [steamers are great 3 veg cooked in 1 pot] and delegate the desserts and starters. Have a great day it will be great fun

southeastastra Sun 23-Oct-11 20:31:35

i think it sounds nice! and to be honest you have now set a precedence so will have to stick to this for the next 20 years grin

at least you will be at your home grin

RandomMess Sun 23-Oct-11 20:35:38

How about having a lovely buffet style meal rather than the traditional roast?

GlaikitFizzogOnaNeepyLantern Sun 23-Oct-11 20:36:23

ILs are driving down christmas morning. I think my folks will come down on the 24th to cuddle DS help. Sis & Bro I'm not sure about.

Restaurant is a no no for MIL, shes not a sociable person TBH I'm surprised she's agreed to come to us, there are a few B&Bs nearby, that could work for Dh & I to escape to grin !!

Dosey Sun 23-Oct-11 20:36:45

I would do a really naff job so nobody will ever want to come back!

GlaikitFizzogOnaNeepyLantern Sun 23-Oct-11 20:45:56

x-posts! I can do the freezer stuff if I eat my icecream stash!!

There is no way in hell I'm doign this every year this is a one off PFBs first family christmas.

I'm just about to buy a steamer for doing DSs veg etc, I have a slow cooker too.

What would you do for a buffet?

Can I just say my living room sofas are as big as a single bed when the back cushions come off and my Bro would sleep on the floor if he had too. He just loves DS so much!!!

peaz Sun 23-Oct-11 21:10:34

Get everyone to bring something, to help spread the costs.

Don't worry about the 8 month old as you will have plenty of volunteers to help out!

Write down what you need, and when you need it done by- from shopping, to making the gravy. I am the most unorganised person but I've done Christmas at our place twice and it was totally stress free, only because I had written a concise timeline each time.

If you were to go down the buffet route, I'd do Nigella's ham in coke, some crusty bread, cheeses, some cold meats, fruit platter, salad, rice salad perhaps. Maybe do a soup too? I'd prefer a traditional dinner though, over a buffet.

fifitrixibell Sun 23-Oct-11 22:09:11

I think if you can be organised and delegate appropriately then you may have a lovely time. We decided that when we had the DCs that we were staying put for Christmas but were happy to host whoever wanted to come. We usually have 6 or 7 adults and 3 children. PILs buy the turkey and bring the stuffing, my mum buys nice bits and pieces and helps loads with prep and child care. BILs sleep on the sofas all day grin.

Plan a simple menu - I have done too many years of far too much food - did much less last year and was fine. Also I don't think you need to go mad buying lots of extra food in - I have found it doesn't really get eaten.

Online shopping is fantastic but book your slot early.

And as others have said, prep early and freeze where poss. I usually do pigs in blankets, stuffing, veg gratin, soup etc in advance and freeze them.

how about asking your ILs to bring a Christmas pudding, your bro and sis to bring some drinks and your parents to bring cheese and biscuits( just for examples - not telling you what to do!)

Most importantly have a wine, relax and enjoy it.

fifitrixibell Sun 23-Oct-11 22:11:16

love your nickname by the way!

Isla77 Mon 24-Oct-11 00:39:44

We always book two nights in a local Travelodge for two relatives who come to stay. They pay for it and do not mind at all as they know we cannot sleep everyone at our house.

BabyDubsEverywhere Mon 24-Oct-11 00:44:08

We have solved this problem by going out for dinner, then everyone just come back to slob out at ours with some cakes etc. Cant recommend it highly enough smile

bemybebe Mon 24-Oct-11 01:13:39

Draw a schedule of things to do from serving pre-dinner drinks and nibbles to cleaning after-dinner coffees etc... then give the tasks of cleaning the previous course and taking the new course to pairs of people who get on together. I.e. cleaning starter and serving soup DSis and DM, cleaning soup and serving main course DH and BIL etc This way everyone has to do something and can take easy the rest of dinner. Just make sure that instructions are clear (on the fridge A4 paper) and plates/dishes are all easy to find. It works very well in my family Xmas dinners (usually 16 people attend)...

hophophippidtyhop Mon 24-Oct-11 06:56:26

From my own experience of cooking for nine adults I'd suggest - skip doing a starter, if you don't have christmas pudding, buy some big desert /cake. Don't panic too much about feeding in the evening, I found that people were happy to nibble away on easy bits. I bought food that could just be put on the table alongside some heat up party food. Make someone in charge of sorting intial drink, and keep saying help yourself to people. And enjoy it, it was actually one of my happiest christmas's!

girlywhirly Mon 24-Oct-11 08:52:02

Definitely get everyone to help, and take turns keeping an eye on Baby DS, except when he's asleep. Could you get guests to bring their own sheets, pillowcases, sleeping bags etc so that they can take them home with them to wash and save you doing it? Can anyone lend you a couple of extra dining chairs, and squeeze in around the table together, after all, you'd need to at a restaurant as their tables aren't that big.

I agree on skipping a starter. Also keep the evening food simple, just things you can put out with no preparation. We are usually still full, so have cheese and pate on savoury biscuits (people can do their own), trifle, and pick at nuts, dates, chocs etc while watching TV.

gregssausageroll Mon 24-Oct-11 09:05:39

I do roast beef dinner for 22 on boxing day every year. Granted no one stays over night but the best way is to be organised.

Delegate. DH and his brother do all of the drinks.

I get everyone to bring a contribution for dessert, cheese board and nibbles for later on.

Everyone knows the only thing they really need to remember is to help themselves and shove what they've used in the dishwasher!

DumSpiroScaro Mon 24-Oct-11 09:15:15

Prepare as much as possible beforehand, delegate jobs where you can and mostly - relax and enjoy yourself and your DS.

TBH I am incredibly envy. I'd give anything to have everyone to my house for a big family Christmas - unfortunately there would be bloodshed in a matter of minutes if I attempted it sad.

ENormaSnob Mon 24-Oct-11 09:45:51

I had a bit too much wine yesterday and have now potentially got 16 extra for Xmas day if I'm not working shock

I am thinking a buffet would be best and everyone can bring a dish.

Earthymama Mon 24-Oct-11 09:49:24

I'm jealous too! Just relax, it will be fine, there are lots of websites that will give you ideas of timetables.

Also it's an excuse to buy Christmas Food/Christmas living type magazines for inspiration.

The babe will be the centre of attention so don't worry, it will be lovely.

LydiaWickham Mon 24-Oct-11 09:58:10

Book a B&B, could you at least put MIL & SIL in there? It might be better for them to have some space as well, with it being your MIL's first christmas as a widow...

Next, no starter, just nibbles out for everyone through the morning.

This is no time to try to be a Delia, so basic Christmas food, ideally anything you can get ready to just throw in the oven, the better. Work out early when you want to eat, when things need to go in the oven etc, if not, you'll get distacted with that many people. Hand your DS over to someone else, your DH is on drinks duty (anyone else will annoy you in the kitchen).

Do you have a dishwasher? If not, you need to put someone else on washing up duty. (Dsis and Dbro?)

You need 2 emergancy chairs, do your parents have a couple of fold up chairs they can bring with them? (I would ask them rather than in laws if you're going to send the inlaws to the B&B, will make them feel less 'unwanted') if not, try Ikea for a couple of cheap chairs.

Also ask someone else to bring pudding. for the evening, cold meats, bread, cheese board, tin of quality street, done.

Relax, this is just a big sunday lunch, it is more important that everyone is together than the quality of the food.

LydiaWickham Mon 24-Oct-11 09:58:38

oh, and lay the table the night before! You wno't have time christmas morning.

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