The ultimate hosting Christmas checklist

The halls are decked and you've got a houseful of loved ones to feed and entertain - it can seem like a mammoth task, but break things down into manageable chunks and you'll be joining the festivities in no time

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The household

Try not to sweat the small stuff - as long as everyone has something to sit on, something to eat and somewhere (if necessary) to sleep then you're doing just fine.

☐ Make sure there are enough chairs for everyone

☐ Check you have plenty of cutlery, crockery and glasses

☐ Serviettes, crackers - gather any bits you need for setting the table

☐ Grab some extra loo roll, tupperware, cling film and tin foil

☐ Make space in the fridge/freezer for leftovers

☐ Replenish the first-aid kit

☐ Source extra bedding and air beds if needed

☐ Get fresh bedding ready in spare rooms

☐ Tidy up the house (get everyone to pitch in!)

☐ Check there's going to be enough parking


Synonymous with the festivities and a source of stress for many - but it's easy enough to get your gift giving under wraps.

☐ Buy in a couple of emergency presents in case you have unexpected guests or the kids receive surprise gifts from friends

☐ Schedule some time for present wrapping - you don't want to be stuck doing it all on Christmas Eve

☐ Have your scissors, sellotape, gift tags, wrapping paper at the ready

☐ Grab some bin liners and have them at the ready on Christmas morning - when the presents are opened, make sure the rubbish goes straight in the bags.

☐ A pillow case containing a combination of little presents and main ones is a good alternative if you're breaking away from stockings

☐ Don't forget to leave a present for Santa and his reindeer

Christmas dinner

As soon as you know how many you're feeding,  take the time to sit down and draw up a battle plan.

☐ Decide your meal plan early and check with guests for any dietary requirements

☐ Make a comprehensive shopping list

☐ Book your Christmas supermarket delivery slot

☐ Plan for a last-minute supermarket trip, just in case

☐ Stock up on store cupboard basics to avoid getting caught out

☐ Organise some nibbles to keep guests occupied



Entertainment doesn't have to mean pulling out all the stops - it's all about the finishing touches.

☐ Set up a Christmas playlist so there's no messing with the iPod mid-meal

☐ If there's any Christmas telly you can't bear to miss, set reminders or recording early

☐ Stock up on drinks (alcoholic and soft) and ice, if fridge space is at a premium

☐ Get some craft supplies together to keep the youngsters entertained

☐ Raid the cupboards for board games and packs of playing cards

☐ Buy some batteries - it's inevitable you'll need them at some point

☐ Hosting a party? Designate one room especially for your younger guests - stock with art supplies, video games, DVDs, snacks - anything you see fit to keep them entertained.

Download the checklist

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Last updated: over 1 year ago