So with less than 3 days to go now until Christmas Day, I don’t mind admitting that I am a little nervous about cooking for 14 people on Friday! I have never cooked for that many people before, and while I know I can do it I cannot help but be a little bit worried that something might go wrong or the food will be served cold!
I feel I have been quite organised this year, which is unusual for me. Yes there are a few cards that I have forgotten to send, and possibly one present I am yet to get, and a few more need wrapping, BUT on the whole, with my food and drink either here already, or being collected today, I do feel like I am almost ready now. I definitely think it helps to plan ahead and get organised as much as you can, and there are a lot of tips you can find out about from friends, family or online to help you get ready for Christmas.
There are some amazing tips for Christmas here, but I also have a few of my own which you can see below:
- Start buying Christmas presents as early as you can. I know it seems crazy to think about buying gifts for Christmas in the summer for example, but I found a lot of bargains at the end of the school holidays which I purchased as stocking fillers for the boys. Also by buying some presents earlier, it spreads the cost out so it is not all left until November/December when I find the food and drink bill needs to be budgeted for.
- If you do end up getting more or the majority of your gifts in December, leave it until the week leading up to Christmas Day because many shops start to reduce their gift sets, toys and clothing meaning you can pick up some great deals. Like these fab pjs that I have for the boys – I always like to get them new ones ready for Christmas morning when they unwrap their presents.
- When choosing your real Christmas tree go for the ones that are a little wonky or uneven because these will be a lot cheaper to buy. The way I see it, I like my Christmas tree to have character, and I do not see the point in spending a lot of money on something that will only be used for a few weeks.
- If you are really organised, once Christmas has finished go to the shops and get your wrapping paper and cards for next year – it will save you a lot of money. As long as you do not forget where you have put them next Christmas of course!
- With regards to the food for Christmas, I start my food preparation a few days in advance, to leave Christmas Eve as free as possible to enjoy with my boys aswell as Christmas Day too. Many things can be made in advance and frozen until Christmas Eve, or kept in the fridge for a few days.
- Make a list for Christmas Dinner timings. I start with what time I want to eat, say 1pm and then I work back. So starting at 12.45pm I work out how long each element needs to cook and then I know what time things need to be steamed, boiled, roasted or baked and how long they will take. This usually means that if my turkey takes 2 1/2 hours to cook, plus 30 minutes for my pigs in blankets and cauliflower cheese plus another 50 minutes for my roasties and stuffing to cook, then to eat at 1pm I need to get my turkey in the oven at 7am.
- Use up your leftovers wisely – there is no need for wastage because there is so much you can make with the sweet and savoury dishes.
- Stay as relaxed as possible – if you dinner is late no worries. Pour your guests another drink (and maybe yourself) and go with the flow.
Here are some tips about how to freshen up your vegetables
What are your Top Christmas Tips?
This post has been written in collaboration with TSB