If you’ve agreed to host the family Christmas in your house this year and are starting to freak out about how much you have to do, take a deep breath.
It will all work out fine in the end, don’t worry!
In the meantime, take the stress out of planning everything with these great tips that will serve you well in the lead up to the big day.
1. Buy and wrap presents as early as possible
Don’t spend too long dilly-dallying over what to get people for Christmas. Once you know what you need to buy, either shop online or assign one day to getting everything on your list.
As soon as you have the gifts, wrap them, hide them in the attic/understair storage and forget about them until Christmas Eve!
2. Plan your menu and make a food list
Hosting Christmas dinner for six or more people can be quite daunting and preparation is key to your success.
Plan out exactly what you want to serve and make a corresponding food list. Buy as much as you can in the weeks before, such as non-perishable items. Do your fresh food shop two to three days before Christmas for minimum stress.
3. Make and freeze pastry a couple of weeks in advance
If you fancy making homemade goodies for your guests, save yourself the bother of having to do everything on the one day and have pastry ready to go in the freezer.
Alternatively, you can buy pre-made pies and tarts, wrap them in tin foil and chances are, no one will know the difference!
4. Do a little bit of housework every day
It’s a pain but you’re much better off doing a little bit of housework every day rather than having to go on a massive cleaning spree the day before your guests arrive.
You’ll be under less pressure should something come up that cuts into your cleaning time!
5. Delegate work to whoever you live with
It might be possible to organise a big family Christmas yourself but you shouldn’t have to. Don’t be afraid to rope in your partner or older kids in the holiday prep. It’s their Christmas too!
Whether it’s making beds, cleaning, doing the food shop or babysitting the younger ones, there’s always a job for whoever is free.
6. Make sure you have enough place settings, dishes, glasses etc.
If you’re used to just cooking for a family of four or five, it’s easy to forget that you’ll need a lot more dinnerware on Christmas Day.
Do an inventory of your presses and find out if you’ll need to borrow extra wine glasses, cutlery or bowls for the meal.
7. Book a fun family day out with the children
While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and stress of making it the ‘best Christmas ever’, the easiest way to do it is to spend time with your family.
Make sure you take time to have fun with your children, nieces, nephews and friends in the lead up to the big day – whether that’s going to see Santa, visiting a Christmas Market or trying your hand (and foot!) at ice-skating!