Preparing Christmas – Part One: The organization

Preparing Christmas tipsAre you like me, already thinking about Christmas, with the gifts, home decorations, and meals? Instead of letting the dank and depressing weather get to me, I prefer to think of the magic of this season.

Holiday preparation is often very stressful. We don’t know what to do when last minute shopping, dinner preparation and decoration have to be dealt with.

Above all, Christmas is a time best spent with family. I propose we have a look all the steps necessary to create a successful party throughout the next two weeks. We will cover how to choose a theme, how to prepare a meal, which delicacies to offer, and how to avoid minor injuries and hangovers…

Today, we begin with the most important step: the organization!

For Christmas dinner there are many things to prepare, and we want to make sure everything is perfect and lovely. Where to start is not always obvious, especially if your whole family come home! Here are some tips to make everything happen smoothly.

Christmas organization image

Fifteen days before Christmas

Start by searching for the recipes you’ll make. Take a quiet moment and look: on the Internet, in your cookbooks, magazines… Make a note of your favorite recipes, your thoughts on whole meals, and plates presentation.

Consider this when choosing your menu:

  • Choose dishes according to your circustances (small kitchen, no utensils, budget, number of guests …) Determine which dishes can be prepared in advance and those you need to cook at the last minute.
  • Don’t try dishes that are too complicated, unless you plan to do some testing ahead of time.
  • List all the ingredients you will need, taking care to separate bulk and perishable items.
  • Analyze the recipes that you have planned cook and make a schedule. Separate tasks which can be done in advance, and those that need to be made at the last moment. See what can be frozen, it will save you a lot of time. A golden rule: always cook your menu backwards, starting with dessert and drinks, then you prepare the main course, finishing with appetizers.
  • Place this schedule in your kitchen and do your best to memorize it. So you know where you are when achieving your goal.
  • Think about wine. Look for the right wine and food pairing and add them to the shopping list. I suggest you have a look at this article about wine pairing.

Ten days before Christmas

  • It’s time to go shopping: buy all the non-perishable goods (canned food, frozen foods, groceries…). Buy and store fresh produce at the last minute.
  • Make an assessment about your home and table decoration. Buy the basics (towels, small plastic spoons and glasses, candles, glitters…)

One day before Christmas

  • Return to the store to buy fresh products (meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, not to mention cheese!). The best way to avoid the crowd, is to go at the start of the day!
  • Take your tablecloths, decorations, beautiful dishes and store them in a safe location, away from prying eyes!. So you will not have to waste time looking workday right and left everything you need.
  • Start to clean and tidy your house. Dust everything to minimuze the amount of cleaning needed on the big day.

Then follow your schedule

Remember to ask for help from the family, your spouse, and your children as much as they can. It will help you deal with the busy work… Especially with setting decoration of the table, the dishes and cleaning. You must delegate to avoid headaches and keep things in focus.

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