Dishing it up
There are a lot of dirty dishes at Christmas time: how will you handle them?
- One or two martyrs tackle them all? (not recommended)
- Anyone who doesn’t cook does wash?
- Marathon, with everyone chipping in?
- Use paper plates?
Some people swear by the latter method: lay out a disposable table cloth, set the table with disposable plates and cutlery and then, when the feasting is done, just bundle everything up in the table cloth and put it straight in the bin. (Need I mention that this is not an option that will please people looking for green Christmases?)
There is also a halfway position – use your best china dinner set, but cook your turkey in a big foil dish (which is also a good idea if you don’t have a big enough permanent dish) and then you’ll still have to wash up the plates but you’ll avoid the scary baking dishes.
Christmas Day 1970: My Nanna was an early adopter and she had a dishwasher in 1970. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very good dishwasher and it broke down frequently and it was hard to get parts out in the country and, on this particular Christmas, it was as dead as a dodo. So Auntie Pat commandeered Bronwyn (who instantly regretted her status as oldest child in the house) and Michelle and got them drying the breakfast dishes as she washed them. (They found it hard to keep up because Auntie Pat washed like lightning. (On a typical day, she ran her home and Uncle Jim’s business and made her children’s clothes and she also renovated houses in her spare time. She did everything efficiently, with graceful ease and in triple time.))
 And some people swear at the methods that require actually washing up.
 Or second best. My friend Carol refuses to use her fancy dinner plates at Christmas because they can’t go through the dishwasher and she has no intention of spending Christmas Day in rubber gloves so she uses her everyday plates instead. (She says the plates are so loaded with food on the 25th that you can’t see the pattern anyway.).
 And if you stood between her and what she was working on, you’d be lucky to get out alive.