An outdoors Christmas, either at the beach or in your own backyard, is one of those Australian iconic activities, along with a good spray of Aerogard before a hotly contested game of backyard cricket.. and don't forget to dodge the old Hills hoist.
But how about a few creative ideas to get the most out of your outdoor Christmas entertaining this year? Just a few simple suggestions will add new sparkle to your festive actiivities.
I know it's Christmas when the old, beautiful carols ring out in the local shopping centres. I love it! I must admit, too, that I love the whole white Christmas imagery we're all familiar with on Christmas cards, in movies and Christmas advertising.
But it's not really an Australian Christmas. And Christmas entertaining, or New Year either for that matter, does not entail cosy indoor dinner settings or roasting chestnuts on a open fire.
An Australian Christmas is spent outdoors with kids running around and spitting watermelon seeds at each other, leaping through the sprinkler or tumbling off the waterslide onto the grass.
So forget those beautiful Pinterest images of snowmen, a roaring fireplace and an elaborate Christmas dinner of the northern hemisphere ... Here are some simple ideas that you can use to create amazing Christmas memories for your family and friends.. memories of a fun, Australian Christmas.
Choose your outdoor area
It doesn't need to be a huge area but an outdoor decking area, patio or even balcony is ideal for entertaining and especially at Christmas. You don't need to worry about spillage on your expensive timber floors or carpet. And if the kids knock over their drink, you can just hose it off. Perfect!
Don't forget, if you don't have a covered area or a pergola, use oversized umbrellas as shade for your area.
Privacy is something that may be important for your and your family and that can be difficult when your neighbours live close-by. The wide range of privacy screens now available with timber louvres, horizontal timber slats or bamboo screening help make any decision to install privacy screens super easy. It might be something you'd like to consider.
Choose your key furniture items
Keep it simple, low-key. Yes, the table setting is central but you don't have to provide one large table, although a trestle table is a good suggestion for big groups. But smaller intimate table groups are great alternatives. It might be a good idea to set up a colourful, fun table just for the kids.
After dinner, your guests will probably want to lounge around and talk. Some comfortable, relaxed seating can be laid out.
Consider the weather
Remember, it may be windy. If you go with a tablecloth, attach table weights to the edges to prevent it blowing away. Anchor any smaller items like serviettes and placemats with heavier decorative Christmas decor, pebbles or candles. Serviette rings will prevent your linen flying off the table, too.
Choose your table decor
Christmas can be a stressful time of year but your Christmas dinner party doesn't need to be. Keep it simple. There are some great, but simple, table decor ideas presented in the following slideshow. Use what you have available. Our Australian natives are beautiful and look stunning as floral table centrepieces. Determine your colour scheme based on what you have already and tie in extra features to complement your choice. Add some candles and you're done!
How to set your Christmas table
If you need a bit of help or you're feeling uncertain about how to go about setting your table for a wonderful outdoors Christmas dinner party, then the following time-lapse presentation will show just how easy it can be. And... the end result is simply beautiful.
Too easy... I hope by now you're feeling confident and enthusiastic about your upcoming Christmas celebration. But there's just one more, important thing to consider... the kids. And if you're looking for some ideas for planning your Christmas dinner, then check out these traditional Australian food options for your table.
Consider the kids
Keep in mind that the children will not sit still for long, even with yummy food in front of them. Set out somesimple games in the backyard that will occupy them while the adults are relaxing together.
And... I guess it won't be long before the men will set up the ubiquitous Chrisssy cricket game. I'm sure it will be a wonderful Chirstmas family event. Have a wonderful day. Oh... and don't forget to take plenty of photos.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.