Christmas is all about tradition and we find ourselves carrying out the same routines year in year out. But there are some familiar festive situations that are best avoided - such as overcooking the vegetables and buying too many presents - so look out for these common pitfalls.
Not prepping in advance
When you think about it, there’s actually quite a lot of Christmas Day tasks that can be done in advance. Make use of your freezer and prep vegetables and desserts days or weeks before the event and simply defrost them on Christmas Eve. Fold napkins and make the table settings prior to the big day, so that everything is less of a rush.
Accommodating the specific needs of distant relatives
It’s lovely to welcome those who would be alone into your home at Christmas, but make sure their needs are not put above yours. Accommodating very specific requests is an easy trap to fall into and before you know it you’re making seven different types of potato for people you only see once a year.
Not asking for help
Big family Christmasses are wonderful, but it shouldn’t fall to just one person to do all the work. Delegate tasks - big and small - to each person and even get the kids to join in. Getting them to lay the table or make the centrepieces gives you one less thing to worry about and helps to engage them in the process.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Keenan Loo
Overcooking the vegetables
Just because the turkey takes hours in the oven, doesn’t mean you should have vegetables to match. By all means prep your carrots, parsnips and sprouts in advance, but carefully plan when to cook them so you don’t end up with serving plates piled high with mounds of different coloured mush.
Buying too many presents
Purchasing lots of presents for each of your loved ones may seem like a good way to show you care, but it’s actually better to buy a few carefully chosen gifts. This way they will be better able to appreciate what they’ve been given and you don’t have to blow the budget.
Forgetting to have a couple of presents in reserve
In contrast to the point above, there’s usually someone you’ve managed to forget on your Christmas gift list. Buy a couple of Heyland & Whittle Gift Sets to have in reserve, as they contain something for everyone with a Mini Diffuser, Room Mist and Votive Candle. Another good strategy is to pop a couple of Mini Favour Soaps into your online basket, as these make great little last-minute gifts.
Yes, it’s nice and cosy by the fire and you feel like you’ve got everything you need with a hearty supply of food and drink, but staying in will make you feel lethargic. Plan a nice family walk in the crisp winter air or even make arrangements to meet friends at the pub on Christmas Day. This will stop you from dozing in front of the TV with full tummies.
Photo credit: Unsplash/k u
Forgetting the garnishes
One of the things that set Christmas cocktails apart from any other drink is their pretty garnishes. Have plenty of pomegranate seeds to pop into your fizz, orange wheels to adorn the sides of cups of mulled wine and limes for those G&Ts.
Not setting the mood
While most of us go overboard with decorations during the festive period, it’s easy to forget the other senses with all those flashing lights. Scented Candles will help to set the mood and welcome your guests with delicious fragrances. The soft, flickering light will also help to calm everyone down during a high-energy time of year.
Running out of batteries
If you’ve got little ones in the house this Christmas, the chances are they’ll be gifted toys that require batteries. Having a large supply in different sizes will mean they can play with their presents straight away and you'll avoid any disappointed faces on Christmas Day.