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What to do the night before Christmas

Christmas Eve is one of the most exciting nights of the year as festive anticipation reaches its peak. This is the time to get ahead with some cooking, from finalising your turkey plans to prepping your sauces. After this it is time to relax – and a celebratory Christmas cocktail.

  1. Bake for Santa

    It wouldn’t be Christmas without leaving a plate of milk and cookies out for Santa. These robin gingerbread biscuits make an adorable festive treat, using chocolate buttons for feathery wings and mixed peel for a beak. For European flavour, these spiced German lebkuchen prove seriously addictive, with the added bonus of making your house smell fabulous as they bake.

    Bake for Santa
  2. Check your turkey

    Now is the time to finalise your chosen turkey recipe so that your timings will be perfect tomorrow. This classic whole roast turkey recipe uses a sage and black pepper butter to keep the bird moist whilst adding extra flavour. For something a bit different but equally show-stopping, try a turkey porchetta with caramelised clementines – a great choice if you have less people to feed.

    Check your turkey
  3. Super sauces

    The all-important festive sauces can easily add to the hubbub of Christmas Day prep, so get them out of the way early and store in the fridge overnight. From the decadent bread sauce to a tangy cranberry sauce, these little touches make all the difference to your festive feast. If you’re planning a vegetarian lunch, you can even make your gravy now too.

    Super sauces
  4. Finishing touches

    Christmas Eve is the ideal time to add the finishing decorative touches to your Christmas cake. Whether you're an icing pro or novice baker, our three Christmas cake ideas have got you covered - from fun skiing penguins to chic meringue kisses and a classic snowy scene. 

    Finishing touches
  5. Last minute desserts

    Not a fan of traditional Christmas pudding or cake? Try something different this year and get ahead with one of these desserts that won’t take up valuable fridge or oven space on the big day. This showstopper chocolate caramel ice cream bundt is huge and will happily sit in the freezer until ready to decorate and serve, or try this rocky road bombe which is a chocolate biscuit cake twist on the classic pud, perfect for stashing in a tin out of the way. 

    Last minute desserts
  6. Star side dishes

    Time and oven space are in high demand on Christmas Day. You can make and shape these pine nut, apple and sage stuffing balls and pop them in the fridge overnight. Veg can also be prepped in advance to give you more time for presents on Christmas morning – peel potatoes or parsnips ready for roasting and keep covered in cold water overnight.

    Star side dishes
  7. Emergency gifts

    Suddenly remembered you need one more gift but the shops are shut? Don’t panic! Everybody loves receiving something delicious, so these edible gifts are sure to go down a treat. A spice mix takes just minutes to make for foodie friends who love to cook, or if you’ve got dietary restrictions to cater for, these delicious jars of vegan salted caramel will always go down a treat and only take 20 minutes to make.

    Emergency gifts
  8. Drink up

    Choose your perfect Christmas tipple to enjoy whilst you wrap presents. If you made your own flavoured spirits ahead of time, now is the moment to enjoy them! The garden gin or pretty pink pomegranate and grapefruit vodka will have matured to peak flavour by now. Or shake up a round of cocktails instead – citrusy marmalade daiquiris make a fun festive aperitif, while a batch of blackberry Moscow mules takes just 5 minutes to mix together. 

    Drink up
  9. One last treat

    Make time for one last treat of the day with a decadent hot chocolate. Make a big batch to enjoy and get cosy in front of a classic Christmas movie. Add whipped cream and marshmallows for a special extra touch – a treat for kids and adults alike.

    One last treat