When one casts one's mind towards thoughts of the Christmas Season, most often the pictures in our minds are vistas of pure white snow, jolly, plump snowmen, sleighs & sleds and the joyful ringing of bells.
In SA our reality is vastly different, we have another type of experience – that of heat, sun, outdoors, suntan lotion, costumes and the ringing squeals of children in the swimming pool!
To get into the mood for Christmas, it is sometimes fun to have a theme, so that we don't do "the same old" all the time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the same old Christmas - with all it's time honoured traditions.
HERE ARE A FEW THEME IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT CHRISTMAS GATHERING:
A Traditional Winter Wonderland
Think white, snow, silver and blue. Your table can be decked with winter, glacial colours and your hot traditional meal would be a perfect way to celebrate this theme along with some gluhwein (maybe cold gluhwein in deference to our weather). Deck your tree with snow themed ornaments and turn up the air-con to maximum! Set your table in white and use ice blue and silver accents, such as baubles, vases, or serviettes. Use white crockery, silver cutlery and candles. Have white fairy lights in as many places as possible. For your starter you could serve a rich and creamy cauliflower soup. Of course turkey is 'white” and could be served with mashed potatoes and/or white rice. Use white salad dressing. Dessert could include a white meringue pavlova with blueberries and white whipped cream, a white Yule Log or white chocolate dipped truffles. Drink champagne, white wine or make white Russian cocktails. After your meal you could serve delicious white hot chocolate.
A Tropical Island Christmas
Well, we already have the climate, so all that we need would be bright floral colours, pineapple anything, cocktails and leis! Your meal could be entirely made up of cold food and this would give a huge advantage to those who are time strapped, as it could all be prepared in advance. Salads could be made using mangoes, passion fruit or pineapples. For pudding there is a choice of Key Lime pie or pineapple cake. You could drink different varieties and flavours of ice cold, refreshing mojitos. Use sea sand and shells as décor on your table, as well as bright, vibrant, warm colours. Birds of Paradise would make a perfect floral arrangement that screams tropical. Give all your guests a lei to wear for the day. Ask them to come dressed in tropical attire. Play island, vibey music. Let go, and have a memorable island day!
Countries From Around The World
Each guest is asked to bring food from pre-decided country/countries – this is a lot of fun and it spreads out the labour and cost to all of your guests! Think a German stollen, Italian Pannetone, Greek Baklava, Icelandic roast leg of lamb, Spanish dry-cured ham, Puerto Rican pernil asado (slow roasted pork shoulder), Australian pavlova, or Hungarian stuffed cabbage. Ask each guest to research their dish and to make it as authentic as possible. Ask each guest to bring props and table settings for their specific country. If you wanted to really get into the spirit of things you could also ask your guests to dress to represent their country as well.
A Colour Theme
Where you match your table dressings, Christmas ornaments, food and drinks, as far as is possible, to that colour. Ask everyone to dress in your chosen colour to add to the playfulness of the day. Colours that scream of Christmas include gold or silver and white, gold and silver, green and red, blue and white/silver or green/red and silver/gold. Brain storm and set you table in your chosen colour/s, decorate your tree in those colour/s alone, colour code your food and drinks menu and ask your guests to wear something in whatever colour/s you select. Have great fun with this!
Food Matters hope that we have inspired and galvanised you into action for changing it up for Christmas this year. We wish you a very happy, fun and exciting Christmas and all you could wish for in the new year!