A lot of people find the lead up to Christmas extremely stressful. This countdown is one I find helpful to prepare for the day.
This is the first week of planning so the first things you need to think about are the menus for pre-Christmas entertaining, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day festivities and preparing guest lists so that you can plan catering numbers.
Now it is time to make your cake and store, which will need to be well wrapped in an airtight container and splash it with some brandy or rum if you prefer which may need to be done weekly to keep it moist.
Christmas puddings can be made now in a bowl, a steamer or the traditional cloth but if you decide to make a boiled pudding then you will need to plan to be there to top up the water while the pudding cooks which is usually a couple of hours.
I usually make a low-fat version of the both so I need to freeze them.
It is important to also plan what drinks you will require over the festive season and after working out your preference start watching for specials in catalogues or online which will help the budget. If you order online they deliver which is one more time saver.
If you like to give relish, chutneys or jams as gifts make them now but make sure the jars have been sterilised and attach some nice labels.
Send invitations out for any entertaining you are planning over the festive season with an early rsvp so you are prepared, not stressed and can enjoy your functions. This allows for your guests to also mark your event in on their calendars.
Table decorations and bonbons should be purchased or made now while there are lots to choose from. The price range on bonbons is vast so get in early to get the ones you like and which fit your budget or if you are crafty you can get supplies to make your own from craft stores or places like Spotlight.
Make a shopping list for the non-perishables i.e. disposable plates, serviettes, candles, sauces, chocolates, shortbread etc.
Order your turkey, ham, seafood and fruit mince pies so there is no last-minute rush from your favourite shops.
This week it will be great excitement for the children as it is time for the Christmas tree to be put up and decorated and yes most adults love this activity as well! Get out the decorations and sort so that the smaller children can join in with the not so delicate decorations.
Christmas lights inside or outside need to be checked for safety before turning them on and need to be turned off when retiring to bed as every year we hear of houses being burnt when the lights are left on.
Now is the time to revise your shopping list and organise what you still need to buy for cooking or baking.
I’ll be posting about the remainder of the December checklist later.
Until next time,