LAST MINUTE TIPS FOR A STREE FREE CHRISTMAS
It's the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be one of the most stressful! Stop stressing, breathe and follow these tips to make your Christmas season more enjoyable.
1. DEEP CLEAN THE HOUSE A WEEK BEFORE - If you're hosting Christmas this year, no doubt, you will want your house to look it's best. But leaving it all until the day before is a no no! Giving your house a thorough clean a week or so before Christmas Day will generally allow you to get away with a quicker once over clean the day before your event. Mow the lawns 2-3 days in advance so they are neat.
2. WRITE A FOOD PREPARATION SCHEDULE - On top of planning your menu and writing a shopping list, creating a food preparation schedule will help you to figure out what can be done in advance and what needs to be done on the day. Be detailed. Note how long each dish takes to make (including any marinating/refrigerating/baking time) and figure out which order to make your dishes in.
3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TIME SAVERS - Order your local deli's meat platter or tangy side salad or the bakery's mince pies rather than making it all yourself. These are a fantastic way to save you time, complement your main course and support local businesses after a truly difficult year.
4. STOCK UP ON EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS - Do a grocery audit a few weeks ahead of time and note down everyday items that you will need i.e. milk, tea and coffee, serviettes and paper towel, toilet paper, some nice hand wash and bin bags etc. They are so easy to miss but you will definitely need them. Stock up early and spread out the cost.
5. FILL YOUR ICE TRAY - This might sound a little silly, but how many times have you been caught short without ice for drinks? If you are expecting a lot of people, grab a few extra bags of ice from the petrol station.
6. CHILL YOUR DRINKS THE DAY BEFORE - Warm champagne, water or, well any drink really, is a Christmas faux par! Put everything in the fridge well before it's needed and ensure you have enough for everyone. The general rule is 1.5 bottles per person.
7. PREPARE FOR UNEXPECTED GUESTS - Nothing is more stressful than the unexpected guest, whether you have forgotten them, or another guest brings a surprise ‘plus one’. Have a few spare inexpensive gifts set aside for that extra person like a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, a small cook book or candle. The gesture will make that person feel welcome and included.
8. USE WHATS ON HAND - Take the photos out of your everyday frames and replace them with leftover wrapping paper. Put the frames back in their original locations and THERE YOU HAVE IT, you've just decked the halls almost for free.
9. SET THE TABLE THE NIGHT BEFORE – Dressing the table to look exactly the way you want it can take time. Spend time on Christmas Eve creating your beautiful table masterpiece, buying you precious time on Christmas Day. Be sure to keep any flowers in water until the day.
10. CREATE A CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST - Create a playlist for Christmas lunch so you can enjoy the day. Set and forget.
11. WALK YOUR PETS ON CHRISTMAS EVE - Got pets? Take them for a big walk on December 24. Chances are, you won't have time to do it on Christmas Day. Throw the ball around for a short time before guests arrive. A tired pooch is a lot less likely to jump up on guests or bark incessantly every time the doorbell rings.