Take the stress out of the season with our 10 easy ways to simplify Christmas. These expert tips will save time and energy, letting you join in the festive fun.
1. Prepare Christmas desserts in advance and freeze them. Make sure to wrap them carefully to avoid damage (particularly to fragile pastry dishes). On the morning or day before serving, remove the dessert from the freezer, unwrap it and defrost thoroughly at room temperature.
2. Do all your grocery shopping online – no Christmas crowds and no leg-work, just the comfort of your own home.
3. Choose easy Christmas starter recipes, or go extra low-maintenance and buy chilled or frozen party food instead. A few plates of nibbles served with drinks will keep everyone happy until the turkey is served.
4. A few weeks in advance, order enough drinks to cover the festive season – giving you one less thing to worry about. As well as a huge range of spirits, soft drinks and wines, Tesco even sell mulled wine – just heat and serve.
5. There are plenty of impressive but quick side dishes, from pigs in blankets to roasted Brussels sprouts with chorizo – but if you want to swap cooking for socialising, you could buy ready prepared vegetables, gravy, stuffing and a pud, to make life extra easy.
6. Got a houseful of guests for the week and don’t know where to start? Try this Christmas meal planner, which provides recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for every day of the festive week.
7. If you’re throwing a party, plan everything you need with plenty of time to spare, with our easy guide.
8. Ask guests for Christmas lunch to bring a dish each – you can concentrate on the turkey while they provide starters and desserts. If they need a little help, point them towards our Christmas pages for inspiration.
9. If possible, lay the dining table a day or two early, so that it’s looking fabulous and ready to go when you get up on Christmas morning.
10. Try one of Real Food’s easy-peasy dessert options, like mint freeze or marshmallow and chocolate profiteroles.
See all Christmas recipes
10 tips for perfect turkey