The most exciting day of the year for some, and a day of pressure for others. If you're a Christmas Day host this year for your friends and family, you've probably got a few things in the back of your mind that you need to get done before the big day.
But don't worry! Christmas is all about relaxing and enjoying the company of your loved ones. That's why we've put together a quick checklist to whip through ahead of the big day, and once you've ticked everything off - you can rest easy knowing that everything's covered, spending your day with the people you care about and not missing out on any of the fun.
1. Making a Shopping List (and checking it twice)
You've probably got a few things stored in the cupboard already, and if you're really prepared, you might have even done your Christmas Day shopping already. However, if you've ever cooked for a tonne of people before, you'll know that there's always one or two ingredients that were forgotten, or something that's unexpectedly gone off between when you bought it and when you need it. Grab your recipes and do a quick cross-check of ingredients - you'll thank yourself later!
2. Write Down a Cooking Plan
The next thing that often creates a lot of stress and fluster, is coordinating and cooking a feast for the family perfectly. There's a lot of expectations on a Christmas meal - that's why thinking it through and writing down a plan of action for whichever dish you're cooking is a really good idea. That way, when the pressure is on in the kitchen, you've got a clear plan of attack to refer back to! Plus, at the end of the day, Christmas is all about who you're with - not what you're eating, so try not to worry too much.
3. Wrap the Gifts and Write in Cards
If you've got kids, you're probably already familiar with the early morning wake-up and the excitement and anticipation of unwrapping presents. Of course, if you haven't put aside the time to wrap the presents, there'd be nothing to unwrap! Make sure you take some time one night when the kids are in bed to get all of your Christmas wrapping and card writing done, so you can actually get some sleep on Christmas eve yourself and wake up ready to go.
4. Pre-Set the Table
Often the job that's left til the very last minute after a scramble to put together a delicious spread, setting the table is a really simple 10-minute job that can be done prior to the big day. In fact, it's a great one for the kids to help with too - especially when it comes to adding a few decorations here and there. Plus, it's a really visual way to double check that you have enough plates, cutlery and glasses for all of your guests on the day.
5. Give the House a Once Over
If you've already had a look at last month's blog, you'll know the benefits of giving your home a good, deep clean before your guests arrive. By giving the house a quick once over by dusting, vacuuming and wiping down surfaces you will have your home looking inviting and ready for festivity on Christmas day! Remember, it doesn't have to be a super-thorough clean, just half an hour will do.
6. Charge the Batteries
An often forgotten step in the plan - remember to give all of the batteries a good charge overnight. You'll probably want to take a tonne of photos, so make sure your phone (or camera batteries if you're that way inclined) are all charged up and ready to go. Plus, it's always a good idea to have a stack of batteries laying around so the kids can play with their new Christmas toys.
7. Check the Games Cupboard and Plan Activities
An awesome way to spend the big day is playing games with family and friends. After you've finished your meal, a classic Kiwi tradition is to get out in the backyard (or beach) and have a knock around with a cricket bat, kick the soccer ball about, or if it's raining, stay inside and whip out the board games! Do a quick stock-take of the games cupboard or the sports equipment you have laying around the house, and then plan a few games for the family to play on Christmas day.
8. Jazz the Decorations
By this point, your tree is probably up and beautifully decorated, and you've most likely got tinsel floating about the home. Why not take your last Christmas eve minutes to whip around the house with any leftover decorations and take it to the next level! Get creative, get extravagant and get festive - your friends and family will love what you've done.
9. Check Your Cleaning Cupboard
With many guests, can come many spills and mishaps, especially around lots of food and a few too many merry uncles... That's why it's a good idea to double check the cleaning cupboard and make sure you have enough stain removers, deodorising sprays and spot removers ready to go. If Uncle Harry drops his glass of wine, or your little nephew rubs his new play-dough set into the carpet, you'll be at the ready to get rid of the mess - no stress.
Last but not least, relax. Take a moment to sit down and enjoy the fact that all of your favourite people are around you in one place. It only happens once a year, so make sure you take some time for yourself to enjoy what's going on, and don't sweat the details too much.