Christmas

Christmas Entertaining on a Budget

Christmas should be a relaxed, fun and happy day with family and friends. Less time in the kitchen, more time in the sunshine. In the lead up to the big day I head to Ocean Keys Shopping Centre as everything I need for Christmas is under the one roof. They have so many options to find affordable gifts for the whole family plus a great range of food retailers to cover all your Christmas entertaining needs, while still sticking to a budget. 
This year I’m going to share my tips for affordable, easy and fun Christmas entertaining.

1. Keep it simple
My love of grazing boards is well documented on Perth Play’s Instagram. So this year it’s going to be all about easy yet decadent grazing boards for our Christmas feast. And as for dessert, you won’t have any complaints with this delicious chocolate grazing board, no baking required!  

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Easy Christmas Grazing Lunch
  • Starting with a large tray (Kmart Bamboo Tray $10) place spinach leaves around border. Then add a selection of cheeses, olives, pate and dips around the tray. To keep costs down stick with 2-3 good quality items.
  • Roll cold meats (sliced leg ham, hot chorizo and Italian salami from Coles) and chop vegetables. I chose red & green veggies for that festive feel. Capsicum, celery and cherry tomatoes from Ocean Keys Fresh. Assemble meat and veggies.
  • Then place a selection of crackers around the board. To keep costs down purchase variety packs with an assortment of crackers. (I used OB finest Cracker Variety Pack $10 from Coles)
  • Fill any gaps with a selection of salted cashews, almonds, soya crisps, yoshino crackers and rice crackers. (Sold from The Source Bulk Foods by the kilo, this is really cost effective as you are only buying what you need to fill your platter)
  • Top with some fresh seasonal fruit like strawberries, blueberries and grapes (Ocean Keys Fresh) and dried fruits like goji berries and apricots (The Source Bulk Foods)
  • Decorate with Christmas decorations and fresh flowers. Baby’s Breath was $8 a bunch from Bud & Bee Florist, Assorted Christmas berry and holly wreaths $4-$6 from the Two Buck Shop & More, White Christmas Tea Lights and Snow Storm Candle Holders ($12.99 & $10 each from Dusk)
Chocolate Heaven Dessert Grazing Board
  • Starting with a large tray or board assemble large items. I used Christmas donuts from Donut King, gingerbread men from Pat-a-cake Bakery and Christmas tree cake, lemon tarts and fruit mince pies from Bakers Delight
  • Place a selection of chocolate blocks broken up into rows. Go Vita have a great selection of organic chocolate (I used Loving Earth Organic Raw Caramel Chocolate and Organic Raspberry Cashew Chocolate $7.95 each and Raw Organic Chocolate Coated Cranberries $7.95)
  • Fill any gaps with cashews, cinnamon roasted almonds, strawberry slice, chocolate mix and freckles. (The Source Bulk Foods.)
  • Top with some fresh seasonal fruit like dragon fruit, strawberries, blueberries and grapes (Ocean Keys Fresh) and dried fruits like apricots, raspberries and pineapple (The Source Bulk Foods)
  • Decorate with Christmas decorations like candy canes and flowers.


2. Keep it fun
Get the kids involved making these special holiday drinks, you’ll be in the Christmas spirit in no time.

Kids Christmas Fruity Fizz
 
My kid’s love this red fruity drink, the sparkling water gives it a nice fizz while still being healthy.
  • 1 Cup New Zealand Phoenix Organic Apple & Guava Juice (Coles $4.50 a bottle)
  • 1 Cup Bickfords 100% Pomegranate Juice (Coles $6.48 a bottle)
  • Top with sparkling water for some bubbles. Add Ice and a Candy Cane to garnish ($1 for 8 from Kmart)
*Adults version - top with prosecco instead of water (Available at Liquorland)

Christmas Creamy Hot Chocolate
 
The Source Bulk Foods sells Loving Earth’s Organic Creamy drinking chocolate by the gram. Save money by only buying what you need and while you are there stock up on delicious toppings like coconut and chocolate freckles.
  • Heat choice of milk in a saucepan
  • Once warm stir through 1 tablespoon of drinking chocolate per cup of milk (or more if you like it extra chocolatey and who doesn’t?)
  • Pour into mugs and let the kids decorate with their choice of yummy toppings.
3. Keep it family
Involving the family in every aspect of the Christmas preparations is win/win. You won’t be short on volunteers for the dessert grazing board, just be prepared for lots of taste testing! Here are two affordable but fun Christmas activities that were a hit at our house.

Christmas Flower Crowns
 
Bud & Bee Florist has a stunning range of fresh flowers that will complement your grazing boards and are perfect for this activity.
  • Gold and pearl look wire headbands (Kmart $12)
  • Selection of flowers (I used Baby’s Breath) cut into small pieces
  • Let the kids make their own Christmas crowns using the wire from the headbands to tie flowers together.
Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Melt Lindt Couverture Milk Chocolate (The Source Bulk foods) in a bowl above a pot of boiling water, stirring until melted.
  • Wash and dry a punnet of strawberries
  • Prepare toppings (I used chocolate, nuts and freckles, along with coconut, chocolate and fruit toppings)
  • Let the kids take it from here. Add to your dessert board, if you can resist eating them all!
 
There you have it, my top 3 tips for an affordable and fun Christmas!
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season
 
Cara xoxo
www.perthplay.com.au



Cara wearing Woven Primrose Prairie Pinafore Dress $39.95 Cotton On Ocean Keys
Girls wearing Jacquard Rose Print Dress Ollie’s Place Ocean Keys $29.99 (Available in sizes 2-6)