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How to Plan Christmas Dinner with Minimal Stress

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It’s that time of year again; families are discussing plans- who’s hosting this time? Who will be in charge of the cooking? Is it turkey or goose? The stress-levels are starting to rise as everyone wants to make the day go perfectly and it’s ALL about that magical Christmas dinner.

Sometimes though, the stress of planning Christmas and the pressure of it all having to go perfectly can ruin the run up to the big day, and even spoil the day itself. Christmas shouldn’t be about stress, it shouldn’t be about ensuring everything is perfect and so, if you are the one who is hosting this year and expected to cook the dinner, here are some tips as to how to prepare your Christmas dinner without it being a huge stress.

  1. Budget.
    The cost of Christmas runs away with all of us if we’re not careful so make a budget and stick to it. There are ways to cut back on expenses- a frozen turkey rather than fresh from the butchers, buying non-perishables in advance so as to spread the cost, shopping around and making the most of deals.
  2.  Decide in advance what you are having and inform your guests. The last thing you want is on Christmas Eve for Auntie Doris hearing that there isn’t going to be cauliflower cheese this year and sending you into a panic. Let your guests know with plenty of notice what the menu will be so that any suggestions from family members can be given with time for you to accommodate them and to iron out any differences.
  3. Ask for help. You do not need to do it all on your own, ask your guests to chip in. You may not want them to take over completely but sharing out the tasks can really help your preparations run more smoothly- the children can set the table, a family member help with peeling the vegetables and so forth.
  4. Prepare in advance. There are various items you can make in advance and then freeze. Stuffing, soups, bread sauce… get these made up throughout December. On Christmas Eve peel the vegetables, set the table, work out the timings for the meat.
  5. Buy foil trays. To cut back on the washing up you can buy foil trays for cooking. These are available in pound shops and are worth stocking up on now so that you can simply throw them away afterwards and take away your washing up!

Christmas dinner can feel like a huge pressure, you want everything to be perfect and there’s huge expectation but there is no need to let the pressure of it spoil the day for you. If you plan, seek assistance and are organised you will find that it doesn’t have to cause you stress and that you can enjoy creating this special meal for your loved ones.

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A background in psychology and counselling Laura has her own business. She edits and proofreads novels and loves all things book-related. A keen interest in oncology, mental health and self development Laura likes to write in health and wellbeing as well as parenting and family.

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