Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year. If you are eleven. For adults, Christmas is a lot of things including the most stressful time of the year or the time of the year you wish you had a one way ticket to a desert island. Although it is enjoyable and you love spending time with your family, you are wondering why, in July, you offered up your services to cook Christmas dinner for 8 people.
“Oh it’s fine” you said. “Cooking for 8 really isn’t much different to cooking for 3”. I mean, you said it in July. Christmas seemed about as far away as your passport running out in 2018. But now, the time has come, it’s a week before and you can’t quite remember what either Nigella or Delia told you to do with your Turkey. Sheer panic now ensues. You’ve invited ALL of the in laws, Grandparents and your partners inappropriate Brother.
Ok let’s take Christmas Dinner hosting step by step.
The seating plan
The earlier you tackle the seating plan, the less chance you have of needing to make your 93 year old Grandmother sit on your camping chair from V Festival. If you plan ahead, this means you have time to accommodate for everyone. If your house or table is on the small side, why not think about setting up a separate table for the kids? They will love sitting together and feeling grown up, and this means you can get away with getting a little plastic table from pound stretcher and some chairs.
Setting the table is also a nightmare, trust me, all people want to do is eat and get drunk so you don’t need to make it overly fancy. If you are REALLY organised, you will already have your Christmas table cloths and crackers. If you are REALLY UNORGANISED guess what? Well done. As of from about the 23rd December all Christmas stuff is massively cheap, so being a complete helmet has worked in your favour.
The food shopping
Get your Turkey early. Really early. For some reasons, people become really massive twats in supermarkets the closer you get to Christmas. Anything you can freeze, get in about September. The last thing you want is to be trawling round Asda’s on Christmas Eve fighting with a woman called Joan over the last Turkey crown and wondering if you can opt for Turkey drummers. There will also be a great pigs in blanket shortage around this time so get them early too. In fact, get as much as you can and freeze it. Christmas is stressful enough, without running out of food or alcohol.
Another reason to shop early, is because in the true Christmas spirit, most of the supermarkets will inflate their prices about a million per cent in the week run up to Christmas. Splendid of them!
The actual cooking
The best way to combat any sort of cooking shenanigans is to plan plan and plan some more. Literally, if you don’t plan ahead your entire family could end up with salmonella, so you really can’t plan enough for the occasion. You need to have a plan that would be similar to how you would a diamond heist. If you haven’t got 7 ovens, it’s highly likely everything is not going to fit in at the same time, so you need to look at what you are going to do. Realistically, will anyone die if you cook the Turkey the night before and it’s cold? Wouldn’t you rather have that cold than a soggy old cold Brussel? Exactly. You need to seriously think about your gravy as well. Shit gravy can ruin a Christmas Dinner. Beware. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What to do after dinner
After the dinner, really, what exactly is there to do? The kids want to play with their new toys, your Dad wants to sleep in the corner and your Mum is determined all of the washing up needs to be done five seconds after Grandma has taken her last bite of mince pie. Yes, after dinner, Christmas is, well, a bit shit. So have a plan. Get the whole family involved in the clean-up operation and then do something. This year, myself and my Mum are going to the pub after dinner, as we have decided it’s much more productive than falling asleep after a tin of roses. The difference this year is that we will come in drunk and fall asle