Updated: Jan 29
If your Holly Jolly Christmas is more like a Grumpy Meany Humbug then I have some tips for you today to help you stay on top of the season!
While in my heart I hold romantic notions of Christmas as beautiful decorations, fun with family, decadent feasts, good times and children filled with wonder, I know the reality is hard - juggling work, children, pets, extra expenses and the pressure to plan a perfect and magical Christmas.
Often the thought of knowing where to start is worse than actually getting something done but with my easy fuss-free tips, you can keep your sanity and make the most of your time with beloved family and friends over the festive season!
The below is just a guide, so feel free to mix and match these tips in a way that works for you.
4 WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
1. Plan your menu by making notes on all the following
How many guests will you be entertaining?
Will you be doing a lunch or dinner?
What is your menu going to be?
Do you need to consider children or special dietary needs?
2. Get your meat or seafood order into your butcher/grocery store
3. Make a Gift & Budget List
Who you are buying presents for?
Will you be buying per family or per person?
What is your spending budget? Consider co-workers, teachers, pets, charities etc.?
Can you save money by gifting something purchased earlier in the year you never used?
4. Begin your preliminary shop of food items for the big day
Shop non-perishable items like nuts, baking products, chocolates, crackers, chips as well as wrapping paper, gift bags, tags, etc.
5. Get the Christmas Tree and decorations out
It's actually so much easier if you can set up the tree now, so it's off your mind entirely and I find the festivity makes the everyday seem just a little more special too!
6. If you plan to gift-shop online, now is a good time to place all your orders
As shipping delays that may occur
Check your email for coupon codes to your favorite stores to help you save
7. Now is the perfect time to bake that traditional Christmas Pudding
and nurture the flavor for the big day! A little fun fact: Apparently for every bite of Christmas Pudding you eat on the big day itself, you will have that many months of good luck!
3 WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
1. Set up the Christmas Tree and household decorations if you haven't already
2. Think about your table setting
What is your color/theme?
How will you arrange the table settings?
Do you have enough crockery and cutlery?
Do you need child-appropriate tableware or extra table and chairs?
3. Post off Christmas Cards / Email E-cards
2 WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
1. It's Time To Clean Out The Fridge
Clean old and unnecessary items and give yourself space for all your Xmas goodies!
2. Stock up on items that will keep like cheese, anti-pasto and dips as well your soft drinks, alcohol and other beverages that can be easily bought and stored in advance
3. Prepare guest rooms for family or friends with clean bedding, towels etc.
1 WEEK TO CHRISTMAS
1. Do Your Final Grocery Shop
Consider having your shop delivered or opt for click-and-collect to avoid the in-store chaos and overspending
2. Bake cookies & treats that can be stored easily in the fridge/cupboard to avoid last minute work overload
3. Pick up your meats & seafood towards the end the week
4. Clean out your esky if you are planning on storing ice and drinks in it on Xmas Day
1. Set the Christmas Table
Add any decorating centerpieces, keep place for serving platters and grazing boards if needed as well as arranging your plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins
2. Glaze Ham or Brine Turkey
The longer you brine/glaze your meats, the better the flavor, so try and do this first thing in the morning
3. Prep salads and dressings
Keep separate until time of serving or your salad will become soggy and limp. Add the dressing at time of serving.
4. Place presents under the tree
6. Do a final spot clean around the house
7. Ensure bathrooms are tidy and stocked with hand soap and fresh hand towels
1. Pick up ice for drinks
2. Decide your serving time and begin cooking meats and accompaniments in advance accordingly
3. Have a Wonderfully Low-Stress Christmas Day surrounded with love and great food!
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