Of course Christmas is the most magical time of the year, but we all know it can be a little stressful too. From the last-minute scrounge around the house for extra dining table chairs, to forgetting to buy custard for the pudding, things don't always go to schedule. But with a little planning before the day, everyone (including the host) can enjoy their special day. Woolworths Innovation Chef, Tiffany Crouch is here with top tips for a stress-free Christmas:
1. Plan ahead
To make Christmas day as stress-free as possible, plan ahead and do all of your shopping for non-perishable items such as mince pies, puddings, sauces and spices a few weeks before Christmas and store in the pantry. Having a full pantry, will help you save time on shopping in the lead up to Christmas Day, where you will just need to pick up your fresh produce.
2. Not everything has to be homemade
Don’t forget that not everything has to be homemade at Christmas. There is a range of specially designed products that save some time over the busy season, such as pre-prepared desserts, pies and salads. Some of my favourite picks for this season are the new range of Gold pies, lighter textured puddings and the new Gold Raspberry & Toasted Coconut Pavlova, where shoppers can purchase the base ahead of Christmas, topping with cream and fruit on the day.
3. Get everyone involved
At Christmas, get everyone involved to help lighten the load! Delegate the small jobs to family and friends. Ask children to peel the potatoes or ask a relative who’s good at peeling prawns to get started on them so they are ready to consume once festivities begin. And when everyone helps, it makes Christmas a little bit more special.
4. Plan the styling
Work out the table theme and how you want to set your table in advance. From crackers and candles to decorating with fresh seasonal fruit, styling for the table can be as simple or as detailed as you like. To make sure you don’t miss anything, write a list and mark everything off as you purchase it. Take the time to work out what you are looking for to ensure that your family and friends are comfortable but not cluttered and that you have enough space for the food and presents!
5. Set up everything the night before
This is the time to rearrange the furniture, set up extra seats and set the table. The day of the party will be full of food preparation and spending time with family and friends, so setting everything up beforehand will give you a little extra room in the pantry and some extra time to sit back relax and enjoy the festive celebrations.
Homemade jams, sauces, or even cookie and brownie mixes are perfect gifts to prepare in advance for unexpected guests. These are great gifts to make a few weeks out from Christmas and leave in the pantry. If they don’t get used or gifted, you can eat them yourself – no wastage!