It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I absolutely love this time of the year. It's a great time and I talk to people in the shop and try and contain my excitement a little. The first year me and Tom were together we didn't get a tree because we were going to my mum's for Christmas and I felt really miserable.  After Christmas I remember saying to him that is this was going to work we were going to 'do Christmas' and he has conceeded and I even think my love for the festive season is rubbing off on him.  The 3 kids probably help but I'm sure he's secretly excited even though he's maintaining his Bar Humbug role.  

I do talk to quite a few people that don't like it and a lot who find it quite stressful but I think the key to enjoying Christmas is planning it and having a list. I got a Christmas Planner last year which was brilliant cause it reminded me what I got for people so I'm buying the same thing. I have a card list on the laptop with as many addresses as I can which is easy to update and helps the Christmas cards get done in a day. All my recipes, plan and shopping lists are now stuffed into my Christmas Planner. 

When all those things are done there is the big day itself. Try and remember it's only one day and the shops will be open on the 26th if you run out of anything and you don't have to leave your shopping until Christmas eve. Getting everything on the 23rd will take the stress out of the shopping. And that was you can spend time on Christmas eve doing some prep to reduce the stress on Christmas Day. I have a small little booklet with my Christmas recipes in and my Christmas Day plan and unless anything changes you can use it year after year. And as very little changes for my Christmas Day menu I even use the same shopping list. 

23rd - if you're doing homemade Cranberry sauce make this and put it into the bowl you are going to serve it in and cover and soak your gammon 

24th - cook the gammon, get the stuffing ready, cut and trim the carrots, parsnips and swede, parboil the potatoes ready for roasting, make the nut roast for the vegetarians,  - have a glass of port as you set the table, leave a little something for Santa and Rudolf and get to bed. Depending on what you are doing in Christmas Day you can also pre cook the Christmas Pudding and the Turkey which will also mean you don't have to start quite so early in the morning. But if you're up with kids anyway I think it's nice to cook it on the day. 

25th - So we have dinner about 2ish and get an average turkey and stuff it. You can check the cooking time on the internet and adjust the time accordingly - just make sure the turkey can fit into you oven! 

7-7.30 put the oven on to 220 degrees, have a cup of tea and take the turkey out of the fridge and upwrap it 
7.30 stuff the turkey and put it in the oven after about 40 mins turn the oven down to 170 degrees
Put the red cabbage in the slow cooker

Make breakfast, Open presents, take lots of photos and work out what to do with all the wrapping paper.

We usually go to morning mass and then when we get back it's time to get on with the cooking. 

12.00 Put parboiled spuds in roasting dish and if you've got no vegetarians you can drizzle some of the turkey juice is not melt a lot of butter in the roasting dish before putting in the potatoes so you can coats them all to make them crispy. 

Turn the oven up to cook finish off cooking the turkey.  
Put the potatoes in
Take the Gammon out of the fridge
Get the Christmas pudding into the water ready to start steaming

About 1 take the turkey out, glaze with the juices and check it's cooked. If it's ready set aside and let it rest. 
Move the potatoes to the top shelf and put in all the other roasting veg. 
1.30 Check veg and turn up the oven if its not cooking enough, cut gammon wrap in foil and pop into the oven to warm, get sprouts ready, put nut roast into oven and put Cranberry sauce onto table and prepare the gravy.
2.00 Everything should be ready, if it is heat the gravy and start taking all the cooked food to the table put the Christmas Pudding on.

Your plan will get you through and so you will be able to sit back and have a very well deserved glass of wine!!

You can pick up one of our Christmas Planners here




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