It’s finally December! The countdown to food, drinks and festive celebrations has begun, and we cannot wait to enjoy time with our dearest loved ones. However, amongst the glitz and glamour of tinsel and Christmas lights, stress lingers in the background of our hosts.
When the responsibility of the day falls on your shoulders, it can be difficult to thoroughly enjoy Christmas. That’s why our brilliant, expert retailers have shared their top Christmas tips to help make this year’s Christmas extra special.
Tis the Season to Plan Ahead
Don’t let the ghost of Christmas past affect your Christmas present! Preparation is the absolute key to a stress-free day. That’s why so many of our retailers gave preparation as their top tip.
Good Timings We Bring
Felicity O’Hare from J.S. Geddes highlights the importance of making your food ahead of time:
“Prepare as much of your Christmas dinner as possible in advance. Starters, sides and desserts. You can even set the table the night before.
“Chop and boil all your vegetables and potatoes the day before, then put them in the fridge until it’s time to roast them on Christmas day. This allows for more time to spend with your family and less stress!”
Yule Log Fewer Hours in the Kitchen
There are more things you can do the day before than you might realise. J.S. Geddes’ Shaun Dunbar says:
“A lot of people don’t know that the following items can be done the day before, allowing you to enjoy your Christmas day and relax:
- Bread sauce
- Stuffing (this freezes really well – you can even freeze it in an oven dish so, once it’s defrosted, you can pop it straight into the oven.
- Brussel sprouts
Get these items out of the way and you’ll be ahead of the game!”
He’s Making a List and Checking It Twice
Ashford Interiors advise structured planning to relieve stress and maximise preparation.
“Get organised and write a to-do list. That way, you feel more in control and relaxed on the day.” Ashford Interiors continue by recommending that you print your recipes and create a shopping list of your ingredients, cutlery, utensils and anything else you may need.
Write another to-do list for the “odd jobs you may need to do in the kitchen; cleaning the oven, organising your cupboards, setting the table and making sure you have enough seating for your guests, for instance. Tick off each purchase and task once completed and (hopefully) you won’t forget anything!”
Have Yourself a Tidy Little Christmas
On top of this, Ashford Interiors also recommend “organising your cupboards and fridge so you know where everything is and clear out things you don’t need so you have more space.” Removing clutter will help you maintain a calm and organised approach to preparing your Christmas meal.
Ho Ho Hoping the Turkey Fits
Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves or panic about the number of mouths we have to feed and end up buying a gigantic turkey that we’re not entirely sure will fit in the oven. Senior Designer Joanna Geddes from J.S. Geddes says “if the bird will only fit in the oven at an angle, make sure the legs are pointing to the back of the oven as this tends to be the hottest part.”
If you are worried about making sure the bird is cooked on Christmas Day, Joanna suggests making a special purchase. “Many people are nervous about the bird being cooked, this fear can be eased by purchasing a meat probe. Test the bird by probing the thickest part of the thigh: when the temperature is 74C or above, you can pour yourself a large gin.”
Quick Fix Fizz
Too many bottles of fizz to fit in the fridge? Stephanie Wilson of J.S. Geddes knows just what to do. “If you forget to put your champagne in the fridge for your party, don’t worry! Wrap the bottles tightly in a damp tea towel and pop them in the freezer – your fizz will be cold and ready to pour in 20 minutes!” Now your guests will be ready to make a toast in honour of their brilliant host!
Get into the Holiday Spirits!
You can make a variety of cocktails to keep your guests happy without worrying about what to put into it. Stephanie from J.S. Geddes has another bit of advice up her sleeve for this...
“Keep a few ingredients on hand when neighbours or friends pop round unexpectedly. This way, you can whip up an easy Christmas cocktail. Nigella Lawson’s Poinsettia cocktail always goes down well in my house. Just grab some fizz, add 500ml cranberry juice and finish with a splash of orange liqueur (I always use Cointreau).”
Don’t forget that the most important part of this day is enjoying time with your loved ones. Keith Myers from The Myers Touch reminds us to “build great memories this Christmas”. Ashford Interiors echo this sentiment, “remember to enjoy your day! Christmas is an extra special time spent with family and friends. Laugh, eat, drink and enjoy each other’s company!”
All I Want for Christmas is…
If all you want for Christmas is a kitchen that is as practical as it beautiful, then find an approved retailer near you. Christmas Day top tips aren’t their only speciality!