Start a pre-Christmas Checklist
MOLLY MAID, the housecleaning experts suggest that a good way to avoid last minute panics over the Christmas period is to follow a handy checklist prompting you to dig out the china, linen, Christmas decorations and other supplies needed over Christmas.
Dig out your Christmas decorations from last year and rather than leaving them in a corner until you are intending to put the Christmas tree up, check that none of the decorations have been damaged over the year. It’s a good idea to plug Christmas lights in to see if any bulbs need replacing and that they work. There is nothing worse than discovering this on the actual day of decoration!
Think about parties:
- Check your glassware for chips and cleanliness: Wine, port, sherry, mulled wine, mulled cider, and so on all look more festive when served in clean glasses. An easy way to do this is to rinse the outside of the glass in vinegar and don’t worry about the smell, as it will fade as it dries.
- Nibble dishes or serving platters can gather dust even if they are stored away without being used for long periods of time. Give them a wash and put them away ready to be used.
- Buy a stack of festive napkins as you can never have enough at a party.
Think about Christmas Day Lunch or Dinner:
- Have you decided on what you are going to eat and if so, have you placed your order with the supermarket or butcher?
- Do you have enough room to seat everybody or do you need to create a children’s table or organise a piece of MDF to be cut to place on top of your table to create a bigger surface area? Then think about chairs too – remember that it is fine to ask friends or family to bring some if necessary.
- Ensure that you have thought about how you will serve the turkey and the Christmas pudding. Will the serving platters withstand heat and look festive?
- Check that the Christmas linen and tablecloth you intend on using is clean along with the napkins. Iron now if necessary for that crisp look.
- Check that your dinner service or crockery is clean and dust-free if it hasn’t been used recently.
- If you have cutlery for special occasions, make sure this is sparkling and ready to go. If you are using silver cutlery, it’s a good idea to give it a quick clean with special silver cutlery detergent to remove the tarnish.
- Clean glassware is important as it will bring a table to life if it is sparkling (see above for top tip on rinsing with vinegar).
- Buy your Christmas crackers in advance and think about how you will decorate your festive table. Do you need to buy candles, flowers or a wreath of some sort?
- If you have children at your table, do you have special treats or games to keep them entertained over a longer meal than usual?
Think about stocking up on essentials to save unnecessary ‘big’ shops over the festive period:
- Detergent, toilet and kitchen roll, pet food, drinks, dry foods such as breakfast cereals, pasta and rice.
- Frozen foods such as vegetables, morning pastries (readily available from supermarkets) and ‘emergency’ meals such as sausages or fish fingers.
Good luck with Christmas planning and remember that lists will help you stay on track!