If you are used to making things at the last minute throughout the year, this is the time to start preparing in advance. Now is when you should get everything ready to avoid the unnecessary fuss and chaos the days before.
3 weeks before Christmas
You can start by planning your menu and make a shopping list. The first thing to cross off your list are the non-perishables. This way you can pay a bargain instead of spending more on expensive ingredients later on. On the plus side, you can divide you budget rather than buying all at once.
One thing you can purchase now is your meat or turkey, if you are going for a frozen one. Make sure you get a bird with a size that can fit into your oven. Drinks should be the second thing on your list.
In case you’re planning on ordering your groceries online, make sure you book your delivery slot now.
Desserts like Christmas Pudding can be made beforehand. After you make the pudding simply store it in a cupboard and take it out when you need it. There is a great chance to get tempted to delve in before Christmas though.
This also works for Christmas Cake and Mince Pie. After you’ve made them, put them in the freezer and just reheat when Christmas comes.
2 weeks before Christmas
Check your list to see what you still need, and finish your shopping apart from the non-perishables.
At this point, here are several things you can pre-cook:
Peas with Nut Stuffing
Smoked Trout Pate
Butternut Squash Soup with Chili and Creme Fraiche
French Onion Soup
1 week before Christmas
7 more days to go! Time to take stock on everything you’ve bought so far, and make a list on everything else you need to do. Then, 2 or 3 days before Christmas, run to the store to buy all your fresh ingredients or have your online groceries delivered. Keep them in the fridge or in a cool garage.
It is also the time to take your turkey out and defrost it. Make sure you have enough time to do it by removing it from the freezer a couple of days before and store it in a fridge.
In order to reduce holiday stress this is the way to go. Who says that Christmas time should always be hectic?