Your Christmas Countdown List
1st November 2019
No, it’s never too early to start planning for Christmas. Some of us started months ago. The big day is still a few weeks away but if you want to be prepared there is a lot to do to get organised.
This list is going to focus on probably the biggest event of the day, no not the presents. The lunch.
Write it down.
It’s no good keeping it in your head, you’re bound to forget something. How I like to work is backward. Start at the lunch itself and work back from there. What food do you want to serve? What do you need to buy? Do you need to start making space in the freezer? Plan that trip to the supermarket well. I start purchasing bits and pieces, that will keep, now. Nothing worse than heading out the week before Christmas to find your favorite biscuits have all gone! Plan, plan, plan!
Have you invited all that you wish to attend? Do you require additional chairs around the table? (I find a bench works best for this as people can squeeze in a bit) Also, consider a separate smaller table for kids. That way the adults can chat together without too many distractions.
Top Tip– Get yourself crackers with fun puzzles/toys in, as this will entertain the kids and guests while they’re waiting between courses.
The night before Christmas.
This is where the serious preparations get underway. The more you do today the less stressed you’ll be tomorrow. Get the family around early to pitch in and help to peel veg, wrapping gifts and laying the table. Put some Christmas music on and start your festivities today! Don’t forget to start defrosting items now.
For us, Christmas isn’t just one day. Its a season and a feeling. Make it last as long as possible by enjoying it as much as possible. We have big family get-togethers every day from about the 23rd. We have drinks, games, food and just get those together that you won’t see on the big day itself. We even carry on the festivities onto Boxing Day and beyond. Boxing Day is almost Christmas 2.0 in our house.
Top Tip – We do a secret Santa on Boxing day, so there are still gifts under the tree to open. The rule is you have to buy a board game, craft or toy. Something that can be entertaining and enjoyed by all. Be it the latest family board game, something to build like a lego set or nerf guns! But it has to be fun!
The big day.
If you have followed your plan, today will be a breeze! The cooking will be underway and friends and family will be arriving. I find it best to set a schedule for the day. It sounds quite military, but believe me, having a routine will work wonders. Start with drinks and nibbles whilst you wait for everyone to arrive. We have dinner as early as possible… the longer you leave it the shorter the day becomes.
Sit down for food promptly at about 12:30/1 pm. After food we do gifts. Strange I know, but I’ve been rehearsing this day my whole life. Don’t rush the gifts! Especially if some of the family are busy cooking dinner, they’ll miss out. While we’re waiting for the mains to go down and start on the deserts, we do gifts. It’s a welcome break between courses. This way we have everyone’s attention. Also, by eating early it will ensure you’re finished before the queen’s speech – yup it’s tradition.
After dinner, it’s more drinks and games followed by a short walk. Get some fresh air and stretch those legs or you’ll nod off! About 5 pm well bring out round 2. The evening snacks and predominantly the leftovers. why do turkey or ham sandwiches taste better on Christmas day than any other? The key for me here is lots of nibbles and finger food. Nothing too heavy. I’ll also leave this out for the duration of the evening then. Let people pick and graze. In the evening its board games followed by Christmas movies for those that are still awake.
Top Tip – Make traditions and keep them. I love the idea that my kids will remember certain aspects of Christmas and that when they grow up and have families of their own these traditions may continue.
Christmas more importantly than anything is about family. So enjoy every moment.