Christmas, the sneakiest occasion of the year. It creeps up like nothing else. And before you know it, you’re a few weeks into December with little prepared and a world of panic ahead.
If we told you that you could have everything prepared and enjoy a champas before December hits, well, we know you’d have a little giggle. But, what you can do, is sneak in a little bit of preparation to save yourself a lot of stress in that last week before Christmas.
So, because we are big believers that even the busiest and most polished host or hostess, can still enjoy all of the festivities – here’s our list of things you can do in advance for a stress-free Christmas:
Create two Christmas food shopping lists
One long and large list for food shopping can be pretty overwhelming. Not only does it mean that your trolley will be overloaded, but having to get all your items at once means that the food shop will need to be done close to the day to avoid spoilage.
Instead, make two separate lists. One, for items that can be purchased in advance such as flour for baked goods, ingredients for seasoning, and meat orders. And one for the items that need to be purchased a day, or two before Christmas, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Consider which non-food items you will need for Christmas entertaining
When we plan for a Christmas lunch or dinner we often go straight to thinking about the food. What comes secondary and dare we say, often is forgotten, is the non-food items such as glassware, chairs, cutlery and the latter.
If you are entertaining more people than usual, all of these things need to be on your list of considerations. Otherwise a stressful trip to the local Bunnings for a stack of plastic chairs is likely to be on the last-minute agenda.
Know which foods and baked goods can be made in advance
Christmassy baked goods such as Fruit Mince Pies, Gingerbread and Panforte keep extremely well. So, don’t wait until two days before Christmas to bake these. In fact, by baking these a few weeks prior – you can also package them up as DIY edible Christmas gifts.
Two words… Online Shop
When it comes to the stress-free Christmas factor, avoiding the shops at all costs is pretty high on the list. If a gift can be purchased online, take advance of this service. There are often great deals, free shipping and longer return periods involved around the silly season.
When preparing your Christmas meal plan, be kind to yourself
It’s Christmas time, so of course there will be a few show-stoppers on your menu. However, don’t make entertaining difficult by filling your menu with lengthy and complex recipes.
Keep it balanced. That might mean that you spend most of your time on the ultimate Christmas roast and therefore make simple sides to match, or make gorgeous canapés and appetisers and as a result stick to fresh seafood and a simple barbecue for your main.
Christmas recipes that can be made-ahead