Making Christmas easy with a newborn(23 Posts)
As long as dc2 isn't too late we will have a newborn and a toddler on Xmas day. I love all the trimmings but realistically it's not going to happen this year so does anyone have good ideas for a pared down Christmas dinner? I won't have any more time on Xmas eve than Xmas day but will be able to knock off small jobs here and there in the run-up so I'll probably freeze getahead gravy at the start of Dec for example.
I've just seen somebody on another thread suggesting disposable foil trays to reduce washing up so that's on my list too. Any other good tips to make life easy?
Mil has offered to cook but I don't want to commit to leaving home when dc2 might only be a couple of days old
and I don't like her roast dinner
My easypeasy Christmas dinner. Farmfood's frozen chicken cook from frozen just stick it in the halogen oven and let it so it's thing. Frozen roast potatoes, stuffing balls, pigs in blankets and yorkshire puds. Veg peeled and put in pans with water the night before and instant gravy. Microwavable Christmas pudding with instant rum sauce. Some people turn their nose up ato it but it suits us and I only have to do it once every 3 years due to complicated family Christmas arrangements.
I am in a similar position except will be very, very pregnant come Dec 25th. I had a thread running about it before and people gave me some really great advice that may help? www.mumsnet.com/Talk/Christmas/2713784-12-at-ours-for-Christmas-and-I-will-be-8-months-pregnant-totally-doable-right
M&S gravy, M&S turkey breast, M&S roast potatoes
Then you just need to get DH to do veg and stuffing
can you tell I like M&S
Seriously, I've done Christmas with a 7 month old and a 15 month old (not at the same time!). Both times, I was sooo thankful I'd written a list of timings and oven temperatures out because the DC would not leave me and my DH and my mum ended up cooking the dinner.
So I'd say prepare for newborn to be stuck to you and for the toddler to be clingy too.
Boned rolled roast from butcher. Plus pigs in blankets, chipolatas, gravy, stuffing. Make stuffing balls and roast veg in advance.
In fact, just do the elements you really care about and let Waitrose or Cook or any store do as much as possible. Concentrate on fun with the kids!
notcitrus For the roast veg in advance.... roast and then freeze? Do you cook them all the way in advance or part cooked?
Thanks Fenella I'll have a look at your thread too.
Any connoisseurs of ready cooked veg/spuds etc around who could tell me whether m&s or waitrose are better and are they as good as your own?or are they much the same? I'm happy to just chuck money at it rather than expend too much effort.
M&S Christmas dinner, all comes prepared ready for the oven.
If MIL or your own mum is game for helping might be easier to host Christmas in your house, also means if you need to go to hospital then they can stay with the toddler.
Is Xmas not just another day? Prioritise what is important and a turkey dinner isn't.
The important thing is Santa turns up, the toddler doesn't get let down or dragged away from their new toys (if op needs to go to hospital). Hence hosting Christmas might actually be easier than going out. Even if baby arrives before Christmas and op is home for Santa dragging yourself and a tiny newborn out, and a tot away sounds like a pain.
M&S dinner - do click and collect (ask a friend to collect it) and then freeze it, taking it out of the freezer in time to stick it in the oven on the day. It'll be fine.
Do what my husbands family do and nominate different people to do different courses. It's fun and competitive. Also
Open a nice bottle the night before and enlist help with prep. Stick on the carols, light some candles and make it fun. People love helping.
M&S dinner all the way. Including veg. My dh managed it when we had a 3 day old ds after I had an emcs and had only got home on Christmas eve. And if ny DH can make a Christmas dinner that way then believe me it's easy. In fact I did the same thing last year. And all the food comes in the tins to Chuck in the oven so there's not ny h washing up either. I went down to m&s food hall about 7:30am on the 21st and it was dead and it meant we didn't have to freeze anything (as I'd have forgotten something if it was sat in the freezer).
We'll be doing the same this year, it's just easier and delicious.
DD was due on 21 Dec and was born 23 Dec, DS was toddler.
I did present shopping a bit earlier than normal and DH helped put tree and decorations up the weekend before Christmas.
I didn't even think about cooking dinner myself, my mum came to stay for a few days and did a roast on Christmas day. As DD was only 2 days old she was still v sleepy. I can remember bf her before dinner, swaddling her up and popping her in the missed Moses basket by the table. She stayed asleep just long enough for me to eat Christmas dinner before needing feeding again.
I spent the rest of DH paternity leave lolling about on the sofa feeding DD (had smart new PJs). It was great, house full of festive snacks, Xmas telly!
3 years ago we had a 3mo and a 21mo. We cooked a couple of joints and did a buffet. We told family they were welcome to come round but it was a fend for yourself affair! Easy!
The last couple of years we've just cooked the meat and picked while we played and eaten lots of sweets and treats. This year we've ordered a few meals from the local pub and dh will pop out and pick them up.
When I was a child we had a very regimented Christmas, we just want to chill out and enjoy without any hassle. We might go away next Christmas. Luckily our parents are on board and fit in where they can!
DS was three weeks old on his first Christmas and my Mum and in laws came for the day. The whole shooting match for Christmas dinner came from M&S, except for the pud which I made in advance. All present shopping done in advance. All I did on Christmas Day was feed DS and play with DD - DH and mum sorted out food etc.
Parboil potatoes and freeze. Defrost the night before, then roast. It gets you ahead on prep, but also makes fluffier potatoes than if you don't freeze.
My son was tiny last Christmas. We had stayed home just us and DC and got everything premade from Aldi. It's cheap and good quality. You can get starters, goose fat potatoes, trimmings, meat, desert there and just shove them in the oven. We had a lovely day
Last Christmas DC2 was 3 weeks old. DC1 was nearly 3. We got a load of buffet-type food from M&S and just kept a constant supply of it coming! We went to my parents for our roast turkey dinner on Boxing day.
DDs first Christmas meant we had 2 under 18 months. Bought everything pre prepared and done the same every year since! Morrisons and lidls are good cheaper alternatives to m and s (which is lovely but expensive) The only thing that doesn't taste the same is potatoes so last 2 years I have peeled potatoes on Christmas Eve and roasted them in goose fat on Christmas Day in a foil tray. So easy and stress free. I out a gammon in the slow cooker and we have that with crusty bread, mince pies etc for tea. Loads of time to spend with kids.
M and s is your friend. My kids are 7 and 11 so I have no excuse but their prechopped veg and stuffing is fantastic. Also their puddings are really yummy and because they're not terribly big you won't be eating the same thing for days. I buy a stuffed turkey breast from the butchers rather than a whole turkey as I can be bothered with the faff. Soup can be made the day before and spuds prepped the night before. Gammon goes in the slow cooker with some coke. Sorted. I used to make everything from scratch . Puddings, stuffing, several varieties of potatoes. You get the idea . Then I realised I wasn't enjoying Christmas with the children as I was stressing about everything being perfect.
The last couple of years have been so much more relaxed.
DD came on the 30 th last year so I completely empathise! Marks and Spencer is all I need to say!
Bearing in mind that I'm ridiculously poncetastic about Christmas, if I were in your situation I'd be paring back to the utter basics. First figure out what specific food/song/ activity means Christmas to you, your partner, anyone else attending. it might be the secret recipe cranberry sauce, a particular song played at dinner time, Christmas crackers, the trifle.....but for most people it comes down to one or two key things.
So then make and freeze the special sauce/ gravy/ stuffing or whatever. Put the special candle/crackers/ table cloth or whatever it is in a box that is easily accessible even if you don't get to take out another single decoration.
Then buy in a couple of those individual portion roast dinners that you put in the microwave for 4 mins. Trust me after a night up with a newborn, it all just tastes like food, and you really won't notice that it's not the lovingly basted £90 hand reared turkey.
Just for perspective I use the same principle in reverse for Christmas ponce-ing. I never try to improve on the stuff that matters most. DH gets the same lame 1970s trifle his mammy always makes because that is the taste of Christmas to him. As long as you hit the high notes for people the rest is just details.
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