Christmas Day is eagerly anticipated not just by children waiting for Santa to arrive, but also for adults waiting for all the chaos to be over! The "Festive" period runs across Christmas and New Year, and preparation is key to making sure you and your guests enjoy this time and make the most of being together. At the Orde Food Company we plan and run events and special occasions on a daily basis, so arguably the Festive period is a piece of Christmas Cake for us. But, like anything, the key to success is preparation. So, we would like to share our 25 Tips on how to make sure you're ready for the festive season and can enjoy it in style.
1. Christmas Diary
Add all activities to the calendar so that you know exactly when the School Concerts, office parties and family get togethers are.
2. Freezer Ready
Clear out your freezer now. Make late November and early December a time to use up your freezer supplies. There are two advantages to this: One, you’ll save money so that there’s more to spend more on Christmas; and Two, it means when you open the freezer over Christmas there’ll be plenty of room for your leftovers.
3. Make a Food List
You can make the food list more effective by also making a menu plan for the festive period and that way you are less likely to buy excess food. Remember though to factor in left overs as Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey sandwich on Boxing Day!
4. Make a List
We love a to do list at The Orde Food Company (especially Justin!) and it really is the key to preparation. We recommend making a list for all the tasks and then have separate shopping lists for food, gifts and cards.
5. Set a Budget
Sounds basic but we highly recommend that one of the first things that you do is sit down and create a budget for both food and presents and then stick to it.
6. Shop Online
Make life easier for yourself and shop online and get goods delivered to your door. This also applies to food and many great food suppliers such as Burnside Farm Foods (burnsidefarmfoods.co.uk) have mail order sections on their website. It is also a great way to order seafood and fish and other treats for the Festive period.
7. Order the Turkey
Remember to order the turkey as soon as possible along with other butcher requirements. It goes without saying it’s a busy season for our local butchers.
8. It’s a Wrap
Shop early for Christmas cards and wrapping paper. You can never have enough! Also make sure that you have plenty of sellotape and know where the scissors are.
9. Check the Decorations
Don’t leave it till you’ve bought the Christmas tree to you check the decorations. Take a look now to see if the Christmas tree lights work and if you need to invest in new decorations.
10. Catering for Numbers
At the same time check if you have enough glasses and plates for the festive period, especially if you are catering for larger numbers than normal. No need to splash out on a new set, pop down to a local charity shop and buy some odds and ends form there. Children especially don’t mind having something different.
11. Let the Kids Help
Get kids involved baking shortbread, making and writing cards or helping to decorate your home.
12. Get Wrapping
If you wrap gifts as you buy them you can really free up your Christmas Eve and let’s be honest, it’s a task that we tend to leave till the last minute. So wrap as you go.
13. Cook in Advance
It’s a good idea to cook and bake in advance, and now that your freezer is cleared out you will have plenty of room to store the odd meal. Perhaps our lovely Chicken Broth? You can then bring out when required. It is also ideal if you have an unexpected guest. Another good tip is freeze some milk so no one has to pop to the shops on Boxing Day!
14. Staying Over
Planning for overnight guests is key. Again, make sure that you have enough linen and towels for friends and family staying over the festive period.
Clean the house in advance, especially the fridge, so that you have plenty of space for Christmas goodies. Stock up on essentials toilet like toilet roll, tissues and soap.
16. More Batteries
Check batteries in the TV remote and buy in extras. Batteries are like Christmas paper and cards: you can never have enough.
17. Just the Tonic
Serve tonic in a novel fashion by freezing it in ice cubes. It’s a novel way to serve Gin and Tonic especially good with many of the great flavoured tonics now on the market.
18. Cocktail Party
Why not offer Cocktails for drinks and have a few concoctions and print out a personalised cocktail menu for your guests?
You can also include non-alcoholic cocktails. We also find hot chocolate is an ideal welcoming drink for the driver when they arrive, especially if you add marshmallows or melt segments of Terry’s Chocolate Orange in it.
20. Many Hands
Assign jobs to all of the family when you’re hosting and indeed on Christmas Day itself. People are generally quite happy to help and get involved.
21. Share the Load
For larger occasions and parties why not give yourself a gift and hire a professional caterer such as The Orde Food Company. You don’t have to do it all yourself throughout the whole festive fortnight and it’s good to give yourself a break.
22. What’s your Style?
Decide if your meal will be sit down, informal or formal. That allows you to decide how you are going to set your table.
23. Light Fantastic
At the same time assess your lighting and add a few additional lamps and candles if required.
24. Christmas Music
Select your Christmas music in advance. Keep the volume relatively low so that it is background noise and not taking away from guests speaking with one another.
Celebrate the Christmas Holidays. Take time for Family and Friends. Enjoy the moment and make memories.