Christmas dinner is the most highly anticipated meal of the year. With all that anticipation can come a huge amount of pressure. Most of the time that pressure we have placed on ourselves, and the majority of people are just happy that they didn’t have to cook the dinner. But there is no question it is one dinner you just don’t want to screw up! We have put together our top tips for creating a stress-free Christmas dinner to help you enjoy it as much as everyone else will.
The first thing to do is to decide on a menu. When deciding what you’re going to eat for your Christmas dinner try not to go overboard. I would suggest a maximum of 2 starters. You cannot cater to everyone’s individual tastes, you are not a restaurant. Of course, you can try and accommodate people’s favourite dishes but know when to stop.
It’s difficult to rein it in when there are so many amazing recipes and ideas out there but it’s important to remember quality over quantity. It is better to spend an extra 15 mins on making your perfect roast potatoes that Auntie Sandra will talk about forever then rushing to get 10 different options of veg made, which will probably all end up cold by the time they get on the plate.
Once you have decided on a menu a really good tip is to write down how long it will take each dish to cook and put it in time order. You can keep this handy on the day and then you can work through each dish and this way you will ensure everything will be ready more or less at the same time. It will also prevent you from forgetting something and beating yourself up through the whole dinner for forgetting the brussell sprouts!
Preparation is key! There is a reason in every cooking video you have ever watched, all the ingredients are set out measured and ready to go! Because it just make things so much easier. Don’t underestimate this especially when you are cooking lots of dishes at once. It will make things run a whole lot smoother!
Having a beautiful table is one of the best parts of Christmas dinner. It sets the tone for what is to come. But be sure to not overdress the table. Leave enough room for any dishes you may wish to serve at the table or let people help themselves too. Chaos can occur when people are passing dishes around and things can get knocked over. You can still dress a beautiful table but just make sure it’s workable too.
Don’t set a firm time for when dinner will be ready. Nothing adds stress like a deadline, so just set a casual time. Tell people dinner will be around 3 ish, that way if it’s 3.30 when dinner is served it doesn’t matter and you haven’t failed anything.
Last but not least enjoy it! Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax, if you burn the parsnips, so what. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter! Everyone will be so grateful for all of your effort so try not to worry and just enjoy the day!
Do you have any top tips we haven’t thought of? If so please share in the comments.