Woolworths Gold Christmas range, Fresh Magazine
Image source: Fresh Magazine

With Christmas and the holiday season fast approaching, the pressure of hosting a lunch or dinner party may feel overwhelming. Here are 5 practical shortcuts to help you enjoy the moment:

1. Decorate with nature

Fresh blooms make an easy centrepiece but if you don’t have time to hit the florist, try a tree branch! Appreciate it in its natural form or spray it with a metallic coat for a bit of fun!

2. Simplify the drinks

Instead of offering a full bar, serve a few large batches of cocktails in pitchers and leave them at the table. Add a chic touch with fresh fruit and some greenery (mint or basil work well).

3. Mix luxe with frugal

Take advantage of store-bought options and glam it up with homemade sides and quality basics. The Woolworths Gold range features some pretty fabulous options including truffled salami made from free-range pork sourced from the Darling Downs in Queensland and Italian black truffles; burrata, an artisan fresh style Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream; hand cured Tasmanian smoked salmon; fruit mince pies made with a dash of Glenfarclas (a 10 year old single-malt Scotch whisky); and turducken. Yes, turducken, an American-inspired turkey stuffed with chicken, duck and a fig and pistachio stuffing). I love that this conveniently comes ready-to-roast.

4. Go family-style

Bring the kitchen to the table; nothing looks more appetising than a bountiful table! Pile seasonal fruits onto large platters, serve the main course from the pan.

5. Outsource the clean-up

I’ve become a big fan of Airtasker recently, having outsourced a few much-dreaded chores. There are willing people in your local area who will do a stellar job at cleaning while you put your feet up. Check it out. You’re welcome.

Woolworths gold christmas 2013 range
Image source: Fresh Magazine

This post is sponsored by the Woolworths Gold range.

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.