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8th Day of Christmas - how to get helpers to clean up after Christmas lunch

Are you hosting this year? Are you organised? ish? Excited? If you are hosting, are you having nightmares about the amount of dishes that are ahead of you? Well, read on.

We're hosting. We're having 20 people for lunch, and a few more for dinner. Yeah, it's alotta people, and alotta dishes, but I'm not worried about the cleaning up. My family is very well versed in the helping department at family gatherings. And it's all to do with a secret weapon that I learned from my Aunties.

So when you're hosting this Christmas, here's the most subtle and effective way to make sure you have helpers in the cleaning up department. It's a super easy trick that will leave you sitting back at the table finishing your Sauv Blanc while you watch on.

When you're setting the table, just place the napkins, the cutlery and place mat (perhaps) on the table and use some foliage, chrissy decorations or candles down the middle of the table for a nice touch. Only making room for just one plate of food. Yep, just one.

Now in the kitchen, try this, leave all the food inside their cooking or holding containers, pans, bowls, foil etc and leave them on the bench or a table in the kitchen - except for a hero, like the ham or a pork etc. This hero can be placed in the centre of the big, decorated table (where you left space). So that means, all the food stays the same receptacle they were made in (limiting washing up), all the food stays in the kitchen, and everyone must enter the kitchen to serve themselves food. And this critical factor now means, everyone knows where the kitchen is located, and in turn, has had eyes on the kitchen sink.
Got me?

Now if anyone feels like seconds (yes please), they must get up from the table, and return to the kitchen to serve themselves more food, thus demonstrating their amazing memory capabilities of relocating the kitchen. See where I'm going here?

NB This practice also lends to helping to aid digestion as getting up and moving around after you've had a meal is helpful, and also handy to help you understand your fullness.


So I encourage you to try this little exercise this year at Christmas, or your next family gathering. It's a gentle way of encouraging some help with cleaning up after a beautiful meal shared, which in my opinion is a respectful practice to instil.

Now I totally acknowledge this might not be something you engage in, perhaps you take pride in showering your guests with food and taking care of them, and this is absolutely fine and a wonderful act of kindness too.

Do make sure you look after yourself this Christmas and Silly Season too. And take time to enjoy yourself.

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