‘Tis the season – Setting up your outdoor space for festive entertaining

Nothing says ‘Kiwi Christmas’ like dining outdoors and a bit of backyard cricket. And while relaxed and laid-back is also very much a part of our culture, there’s no reason why we can’t all enjoy a bit of a fuss when it comes to celebrating the festive season.

So here’s a few fun, easy ways to make an impression these holidays – but be warned, it may just mean Christmas is at yours next year too!

Choose a theme

Deciding on a theme for your Christmas celebrations is a good way to set the tone for what needs to be organised. Some people like a real traditional Christmas set-up, with bells, candles, candy canes and stockings. But if you’re wanting to embrace a more modern vibe, you can steer clear of the green and red by choosing more neutral colours, or even embrace the metallic look. With plenty of options on offer, you really don’t have to stick to the tried-and-true if you want to be a bit different this year. Don’t forget fairy lights, and to nominate a tree or plant to be the outdoor Christmas tree (complete with decorations)!

It’s easy being green

Whatever you do decide – try your best to be eco-friendly! The environment will thank you for it. Even if you want an easy-to-clean-up meal, there are plenty of eco-friendly tableware options out there that can go straight into the recycle bin (which means overindulging on the food will be the only thing to feel a little guilty about). From bamboo plates to wooden cutlery, long gone is the gaudy plastic stuff of yester-year!

What’s on the menu?

If you have decided on a theme, then choosing your food for the day should be a lot easier. Traditionally Christmas lunch (or dinner) is a classic roast with all the trimmings, and while this is a favourite for many, it can prove to be a bit much to slave over a hot stove in the middle of summer! So don’t feel like a BBQ couldn’t be a good option as well – it’s the Kiwi way after all. Or if you really do have a lot of people to cater for, consider asking everyone to bring a platter to share.

Be prepared for all weather

One thing you can never control at Christmas is the weather – which is why having a Fresco Shade is ideal, because you don’t have to change your plans too much to accommodate whatever Mother Nature throws at you. It’s a good idea to have the sides as well, for extra protection if you need it. Whether rain or shine, enough shade and/or shelter is key – so just make sure you have all extremes covered (literally).

Go DIY with drinks

Want to reduce that ‘to-do’ list that comes with hosting? Why not set up an outdoor mini bar/drinks station so people can help themselves. It is also a fun little feature to have set up for the occasion. Stack it full of cups, sliced lemon/limes, a chilly bin for ice and BYO drinks, and a non-alcoholic punch in a glass dispenser (you can get them from most homeware stores). Guests will enjoy having the chance to prepare their favourite tipple just the way they like it.

Seating for all

Worried you don’t have enough seats for everyone? What about setting up a picnic blanket with cushions on the lawn or deck. The younger guests will love the freedom to move around, and it also provides a great chill-out spot for before and after the meal.

Outdoor games

Setting up a few fun games for the family can be a great way to really put the celebration into Christmas – a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone did it? From an egg-and-spoon race to lawn twister, ring toss or giant Jenga, there’s certainly something special about putting down all of the technology and having some laughs together.

Be a tidy Kiwi

Make the clean-up easier for you by setting up bins with labels so that everyone can be a DIY tidy Kiwi and everything that can be recycled will be ready without too much sorting (like glass, paper and plastic).