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Making Christmas Day easier

(51 Posts)
coffeetofunction Sun 02-Nov-14 20:48:55

I thought it would be nice to share ideas on making Christmas Day easy & fun....

I set the table the day before & prepare the food the afternoon before...
Anyone else??

MehsMum Sun 02-Nov-14 20:50:37

DH does most of the cooking grin
It all began one year when I was ill, and he found he could, so now I do the tidying up, table setting and so on, and HE slaves over the hot stove.

LokiBear Sun 02-Nov-14 20:50:38

Following! Hosting for the first time this year and need some help!

Heels99 Sun 02-Nov-14 20:50:49

use disposable roasting tins

TheDowagerDuchessOfDinglyDell Sun 02-Nov-14 20:51:00

Work. Solves a whole raft of angst.

Guitargirl Sun 02-Nov-14 20:53:46

I have a little ritual of making sure we have:

All the right batteries

Black bags ready for discarded paper

Cameras are charged

Notepad and pen to make list for thank you cards


Try not start on the booze too early as hate having mid afternoon hangover

chipsandpeas Sun 02-Nov-14 20:54:44

have someone else do the cooking and cleaning

Mrsgrumble Sun 02-Nov-14 20:56:12

Peel veg and leave covered in saucepan late Christmas Eve

Disposable tins

Go to mass on Christmas Eve

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 02-Nov-14 21:07:09

Eeeeurgh I can't do disposable tins, I need to roast in good solid heavy roasting tins. Foil ones stick and burn.

I have a blackboard in the kitchen, I write the times that everything has to go into the oven or on to steam.
We eat at 3.30-4pm so I work out the times from that.
And hopefully this year the braised red cabbage won't be left in the fridge blush. We froze it and ate it at Easter, It was delicious.

YY to batteries, charge everything that needs charged, full tank of petrol, de-icer.

Stock up on bin-bags, loo roll, cold & flu remedies, dishwasher tablets, coffee.

A couple of days before Christmas I'll go through the cupboards and check all the plates and glasses (I have a Christmas Cupboard grin )

coffeetofunction Sun 02-Nov-14 21:07:16

Battieries- great idea
A note pad/ never thought of alto ought I have a freaky photographic memorie
Disposable tin- perfect!!

Can I get away with disposable plates?? Or is that bordering lazy??

lilolilmanchester Sun 02-Nov-14 21:14:13

The single thing that made our Christmas more relaxed was to have Christmas dinner late afternoon, so we could enjoy leisurely present opening with the children & play with new toys without being in and out of the kitchen. Still do that now they're older, works for us.

Timeforabiscuit Sun 02-Nov-14 21:20:20

If you get play mobile - PREBUILD IT - it is not child friendly construction, and you really need a dark quiet room to gently sob in as you try and decypher instructions.

Plus you then get to play with it in peace.

Chewbecca Sun 02-Nov-14 21:30:36

Make gravy in advance so it just needs re-heating on the day. I did Jamie Oliver's a couple of years back, took bloody ages but was great on the day.
I have bought M&S fresh gravy in pouches in the past which used to be great but last year was gross, they'd gone gluten free and it ended up gelatinous.
I do buy bread sauce from M&S too usually.

But frankly, the meal with all the trimmings for double the usual # of people is hard work.

I do try to encourage people to help clear up and make drinks but usually they just wait for DH to do it hmm

Chewbecca Sun 02-Nov-14 21:31:23

I think disposable roasting tin is ok for pots but not sturdy enough for the turkey.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 02-Nov-14 22:20:29

Disposable plates coffeetofunction no shock
You need Special Christmas Plates kept in your Special Christmas Cupboard

wink grin

I would maybe do disposable (catering quality) plates for a buffet for a crowd but not to eat your Christmas Dinner from.

Look in TKMaxx or Homesense for Christmas plates (maybe a huge platter for the turkey and veg) , IKEA or Matalan for plates (go for plain white on a charger plate for colour? )

TheEnchantedForest Sun 02-Nov-14 22:37:05

Definitely make up toys etc in advance. We bought a toy kitchen one year that took about three hours to put up. I can't imagine having to do that on Christmas morning whilst remaining all cheery with the children!
I am sure everyone does this already though.

If you are doing a big food shop/online delivery, check when the Christmas slots become available now (some release them end of Nov) so that you place your order in time for a good delivery time. This means you can spend a relaxing Christmas Eve with the family rather than battling it out in the supermarket.

TheEnchantedForest Sun 02-Nov-14 22:38:19

yes to the later meal time as well! Means I can relax and enjoy the morning with the children rather than faffing around with timings.
easier still-try to get invited elsewhere!smile

TheEnchantedForest Sun 02-Nov-14 22:38:58

Great list guitar girl.

TheEnchantedForest Sun 02-Nov-14 22:41:03

Ooo, another one. Agree Skype call timings (if family/grandparents elsewhere) before the day so you are not fielding calls at inconvenient times. it makes for a happier, less stressful call!

mumtobetothree Mon 03-Nov-14 00:20:36

Storage tubs/boxes for each of the DC to put toys/gifts into. Large freezer bags to keep small bits together

HerrenaHarridan Mon 03-Nov-14 00:36:12

Pre prep as much as possible, this years cranberry sauce for instance I made last year.

One year I even roasted the goose the day before and just heated it through on the day. Nb safety warning I slow cook on a very low temp which means this does not poison or taste dry.

Anything that can be made in advance will, Yorkshire batter, stuffing, braised cabbage.

Mostly I say don't over invest.
I love to have guests, I love to cook for them and revel in the whole presenting dishes to hungry guests but there will be no disaster if the stuffing fails or I have to bin the gravy and replace it with bisto. There will be more than enough to eat and no one will be hungry.
I'm all for poncetastic christmas but not at the expense of enjoying it.

SpottyTeacakes Mon 03-Nov-14 05:15:41

I make up toys too and take things out of its packaging before I wrap it. Eg ds will be two and we've got him a first remote controlled car (fire engine!), I will take it out of the box, put batteries in then wrap it. This way he can play straight away and the cardboard is at the recycling plant a month before Christmas so the bin isn't over flowing come Boxing Day.

chanie44 Mon 03-Nov-14 06:28:21

Foil roasting trays for the dinner.

Prep veg the night before and leave soaking in cold water.

Have a supply of batteries on hand for gifts.

Remove the fiddly packaging from the children's presents and put the toy together.

siblingrevelryagain Mon 03-Nov-14 07:40:04

Last year I prepped the roasties in advance (I find peeling/parboiling is one job which keeps me tied to the kitchen for a substantial period of time on Xmas morning).

Peeled and par boiled, then laid out in single layer in pound land large foil tray to cook. Open freeze then tip into bag when frozen.

On the day you just heat the oil/goose fat and pour pots in. Kind of like aunt Bessie's but homemade! Tasted exactly the same as my usual Sunday ones so I shall be doing this every year.

Also buy frozen sprouts (but I'm afraid I love them overlooked and mushy!)

siblingrevelryagain Mon 03-Nov-14 07:51:46

Sorry, should say "..foil tray to cool.."

Stupid fat fingers!

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