Stress-free Christmas menu planning

Stress-free Christmas menu planning

Feeling good about cooking at Christmas

We make a lot of lists at Christmas.

There’s our own personal list, a list of what to buy for other people, a list of cards to write, and then there’s the to-do list for all that delicious Christmas food and drink.

We all promise we’re going to be more organised this year…but then work, studying or socialising get in the way – and suddenly there are only 10 days to go and we’re SOOO-NOT-READY!

From creating the menu, to researching recipes, right down to preparation and timings, making your Christmas menu list is for many of us ‘die-hard’ list-makers, something to celebrate and take pride in. Christmas is really coming…and it’s going to be great.

This year, we’re here to help you make the best Christmas menu list, so you feel ready for the most enjoyable, stress-free Christmas ever.

Start the Christmas countdown with a personalised Christmas menu list

It’s not quite a chocolate Advent calendar, but your list is a countdown to Christmas too. It should say what to buy, but also when to buy, and when to cook, so you don’t get last minute cooking gridlock.

Find a quiet corner, put on some Christmas music, light a candle if the light’s fading, and sit down with your tried and tested recipes, and foodie tips you’ve found on social media for fresh inspiration, plus your favourite Zebra pens. Lists should be beautiful and inspirational as well as practical (especially if you’re planning to keep them from year to year!).  This moment is all part of your personal Christmas ritual.

The secret’s in the timings

You can save yourself a lot of time – and cost – by staggering when you buy items. Some things, such as relishes, or cheese biscuits or extra-wide foil (so easy to overlook and yet so critical!) can be purchased way ahead. Vegetables you can leave until two days before. Plan what you can cook and freeze in advance or make 3 days before.

We know everything’s costing more this year, but you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

The most important part of Christmas menu planning is making time for you

Christmas is about being kind to yourself too. Be honest, and realistic, about how much time you have to fit everything in. It’s easy to overcommit yourself in trying to please everyone.

You don’t have to be a domestic goddess, or a galley slave. Mark the dishes on your list that you actually want to cook yourself – and buy the rest ready-made.

It might cost a little more, but you can cut back somewhere else, hide the boxes, dust on some edible glitter, and take the glory.

It’s everyone’s Christmas, so ask for help!

There’s no denying Christmas costs…and we have to budget more than ever.

So share the load, and ask everyone to contribute something too, whether it’s the brandy butter or the crackers. If you’re not hosting, then reach out and ask the host what they’d like you to help with or bring. After all, we all love a celebration, so let’s be mindful of those who are making it happen for us. One of the kindest gifts you can give someone is less stress at Christmas.

Feel in control of Christmas, not the other way around

There’s a real satisfaction in starting your planning well in advance, crafting your menu and creating your list. Not only will you enjoy the last few days before Christmas – you’ll have time to go to all those other parties too!

Happy Christmas from all of us at Zebra Pen.