Throwing your first Christmas lunch can be a daunting experience, but don’t stress. Whether you’ve just left home or have dodged hosting the festive do for decades, sail through the prep and smash your first Crimbo bash with our fool-proof tips.
2 weeks and counting
First things first, once you know who’s coming use a handy turkey calculator to figure out the size of bird you’ll need and order it now.
Don’t be shy about asking for help from the off; task your guests with bringing useful extras like a second pud, the bread sauce or the loan of a couple of chairs for the Christmas table.
Buying readymade Christmas crackers takes minimum effort, but if you have time and prefer personalised pressies instead of the usual plastic tat, have a go at making your own.
If you’re feeling super organised, now’s the time to batch-cook some easy meals for the freezer as a fallback for when things get hectic.
It’s also the perfect time to check your pans and cookware. Best to get fully equipped before the great cook off!
A few days to go
Making as much of the food as possible in advance will save you sweating in a hot kitchen for the whole of Christmas morning. Check out some of these brilliant get-ahead starters and other dishes to prep ahead of time like the gravy, stuffing and roasties.
While you’re at it, best grill up an early batch of pigs in blankets, purely for testing purposes of course.
Figuring out how much drink to buy to keep everyone’s thirst quenched can be a bit of a head scratcher. Use this nifty calculation to help make that all-important decision.
With the drinks sorted, turn your mind to entertainment. As well as an ultimate Crimbo playlist, some Christmas party games will keep guests happy and distracted while the food is cooking – you never know when they might come in handy!
Leave yourself with one less decision to make on Christmas morning by prepping your outfit the day before.
The big day
Don your festive apron and dive into your Christmas Day plan of choice. This one covers all the essentials and will have you feasting by 2pm if the Queen’s speech is a must-watch in your house.
Want your table to wow but not sure how? Put on some Christmas tunes and lay the table up a storm with these simple festive table-setting ideas.
Don’t stress about topping up drinks and doing the rounds with nibbles. Put together a drinks trolley and snacks table and let guests help themselves. And serve mulled wine in the digital pressure cooker to keep it warm – genius!
Using pans that go from hob to oven to table in style will save on washing up. As for the rest, once the meal is over and everyone’s full to bursting, whip out one of your Christmas games. Loser does the dishes!