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The perfect Christmas Day: A Hackers Guide

by Christina Mitsi

This year I am getting married on December the 27th, so if Christmas isn’t already enough I also have a wedding to plan. But being the organisational queen that I am, I thought I would share my top tips for making sure your Christmas day goes without a hitch, as well as some of the lovely products I’ll be using this year.

Christmas is one of the most hectic times of year in any household, it’s a mad rush of making sure everyone’s presents are wrapped and under the tree, the turkey is fully defrosted, all the cards are sent out in plenty of time and of course that there’s plenty of bubbles for morning mimosas! 

How to get ready for Christmas

One of the easiest things you can do to get yourself organised is to write a list of all the things that have to be done and keep it somewhere easy to access (your fridge or your phone I find is best). I don’t just have one list, I have shopping lists for food, spreadsheets for presents, lists of what needs to be done before Christmas eve ect. If it’s written down you can’t forget it so when you think of it, get it written somewhere you will definitely look at again. 

When to order your Christmas shopping

Order what you need in plenty of time but also consider how long items will stay fresh. There’s no use ordering your turkey to be delivered a week before christmas if you don’t have a freezer big enough so consider ordering a frozen turkey a couple of days before which you can then thaw out over a couple of days in the fridge. Either way, the bird needs the proper preparation!

I ordered a fresh batch of cupcakes from Lola’s Cupcakes to see if they would be suitable for my Christmas day table and I was blown away by the quality and taste. I would highly recommend the Winter Wonderland Yule cake with its layers of chocolatey goodness but the Santa’s Workshop Cupcakes are what I found to be the most Christmassy with their festive colours and sumptuous buttercream. 

How to get fresh veg in time for Christmas

Similarly, with your fruits and vegetables, you want them to be as fresh as possible but at the same time, I don’t blame you for wanting to avoid the supermarkets on Christmas Eve. Why not schedule a time slot for a small delivery on Christmas Eve so that you can take the stress out of your food shop? As you can imagine these slots fill up fast so you’ll have to get in there quickly and also consider the fact that a supermarket worker might not pick the same items you would if you were in the store.

Christmas decorations hack

One thing you can get out of the way quickly (that is if you haven’t got them up already!) is your decorations. I am personally not a lover of decorating my house at Christmas and put my artificial tree back in its box with all the baubles and lights attached ready to pop straight back up next year! If you do have an artificial tree you can also fold in all the branches and wrap the whole thing in clingfilm to keep it together. You may think me a Scrooge (Bah!) but this saves me so much time each year. 

There are however a few decorations I do take some joy in hanging. I got this beautiful set of decorations from Dower & Hall. Made from silver-plated pewter, shell-lip and freshwater pearls, their decorations add a touch of elegance to any tree. But the real reason I bought them was because their lovely tie ribbons mean that they can also double up as napkin holders, which I thought would look fabulous on my wedding table. The Alphabet tree decorations especially would be a lovely addition to your table on Christmas day with everyone’s initials on their place setting. Got to love a multi-use product!

Timing is everything

One thing people struggle with on Christmas Day is the timing of Christmas dinner. There is nothing worse than plating up a huge feast of food where the roasties are stone cold and the only thing that isn’t lukewarm is the brussel sprouts (and nobody wants them anyway!). Before you start cooking, go over your recipes for each element and write down how long each one takes and whether they can be kept warm or if they have to be cooked at the very last minute.

For example, the Turkey can come out and sit resting wrapped in tin foil for a good hour, giving you time to cook your roast potatoes, stuffing, honey roast parsnips and carrots etc in the oven. This way you can make a plan of what order you need to prepare each thing so that it can all come out together and all be piping hot. 

Essential Christmas Cookware

Just like you fish out your Christmas tableware and napkins for the one day of the year, I make sure to bring out my best cookware for the occasion. If I’m cooking for the whole family I make use of my family size casserole dish from Peugeot Saveurs. This dish can be transferred straight from the oven to the table as well as be transferred straight from the freezer to the oven without cracking from thermal shock. The ceramic also keeps food hot for 30 minutes after serving so it is perfect for keeping all the trimmings nice and warm for guests to go back for seconds. Or thirds.

For the same quality of cooking and for a more festive look I opted for some ramekins from the same brand. The set of two is perfect for if you are spending Christmas as a couple and only need to make a small batch of cauliflower cheese or Christmas pudding or they are just as ideal for making individual souffles or french onion soups for multiple guests. 

Tis the season

You know the one thing that people forget to put on the table on Christmas day? Salt and pepper. Now to me, someone who always seasons their cooking to perfection (obviously), I don’t think people need it but people’s tastebuds are different and it is polite to give people the option. If you’ve ever eaten at someone’s home who doesn’t have the same enthusiasm for seasoning then you know the horror of consuming a tasteless mash potato or a sad plate of scrambled eggs on toast.

Peurgeot Salt and pepper mills

Make sure your guests enjoy your food and impress them with these incredibly chic salt and pepper grinders. At 12cm, this set is ideal for the table and comes with a convenient funnel which makes refilling easy. They are presented in a beautiful gift box which would also make them an ideal Christmas gift, so maybe buy two and when your guests admire them round the table you already have their gift for next year!

Some of these tips will apply to you, some to those you love. Make sure to share this article with those who make your Christmas happen each year and make sure to thank them for all the effort they put in to make Christmas extra special.

Author

  • Christina Mitsi

    Born and raised in the picturesque Lake District, Christina Mitsi had a truly idyllic childhood. She then transitioned from being a head chef in Manchester to compiling the community pages and features for the Manchester Evening News. She is always ready for an adventure, whether it’s swimming in the Norwegian fjords or singing in the honky tonks in Nashville. Now running her own social media business, she loves nothing more than exploring with her dog Luther or being curled up with a good Netflix documentary.

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