The Christmas and New Year period will no doubt see an influx of visitors to your home, eager to share in the festivities with you and your family.
If you find yourself hosting Christmas lunch, dinner, parties or New Year's Eve celebrations, you'll need to have your home adequately prepared.
As Australia is often very warm over the December/January period, you may find most of your dining and entertaining occurs outside. That means it's time to get this area ready for visitors.
The most important element to consider is where everyone will sit. If you've got an existing outdoor table that's looking a little shabby, why not do some DIY painting? Choose a bright colour to make it the focal point of your backyard or simply stain it to bring out the natural wooden tone.
If you're handy with a hammer you could even turn your hand to constructing your own pallet bench for guests to perch on. All you need is some scrap wood pallets, sanding tools, paint and cushions to dress up your new seating. This is a great idea for New Year's Eve parties where guests may want to take time out from the dance floor and relax outside.
Food and drink
Catering to different people's tastes and requirements can be tricky, so it pays to plan ahead. Ask guests to email you with any dietary requirements or allergies they may have and make sure you have dishes on offer they can eat.
To keep guests from overindulging on the holiday champagne, make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks on offer. Fruit punch and sparkling mineral water are great choices.
Update your backyard with some fresh lighting to help celebrate the silly season. One great option is fairy lights that can be strung along fences and wrapped around umbrellas, creating a whimsical setting for your celebrations.
If you're having a sit-down dinner or intimate cocktail party, candles may help create a warm, inviting vibe. Tealight candles look great scattered around a table, or stick with a large candelabra centrepiece for something more dramatic.
Lawns and garden
Now is the time to tackle that garden DIY project you've been putting off all year. Whether it's overhauling your flowerbed or installing a petanque pitch, get it done before guests arrive and your property will look even more impressive.