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The ultimate hosting Christmas checklist

family Christmas

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.

The house

bauble

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

☐ Gather any bits you need for setting the table (serviettes, crackers etc.)

☐ 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 will be enough parking for guests

Presents

presents

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 (again)

☐ 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

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

family christmas

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 arguing with Alexa mid-meal

☐ If there's any Christmas telly you can't bear to miss out on watching live, set reminders

☐ 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 – you'll need them at some point. Promise.

☐ 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 here