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Planning the Ultimate Stress-Free Christmas

Planning the Ultimate Stress-Free Christmas 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 🎵 Or at least it should be…

Let’s be honest, December can be stressful at the best of times. Between tying things up for the end of the year, making time for your loved ones, and trying to get a tasty Christmas meal on the table, it can be super easy to feel like you’ve run a marathon by Boxing Day!

But Christmas doesn’t need to be a drama. When it comes to the crunch, the best part of Christmas is just eating some good kai and enjoying being together.

If you’re feeling your Christmas stress levels hitting an all-time high, check out our guide to the ultimate stress-free Christmas.

Get Prepped Early

There’s nothing more stressful than leaving everything ‘til Christmas eve. Sure, you might end up having a cruisy December, but is it really worth feeling like you’re losing your mind on December 24th!? No one enjoys dashing around the mall at 6 o’clock on Christmas eve, trying desperately to find pressies for the whole family!

The biggest secret to a stress-free Christmas is getting organised early. It might be a bit premature to start basting your roast turkey on December 1st, but it’s never too late to start gathering gifts and ticking the small things off your list.

The sooner you tackle all the tasks outside of the Christmas dinner, the more energy and time you’ll have to really make your food shine.

Organise Your Troops

Kiwi families can be notoriously cruisy when it comes to everything, including Christmas.

“Yeah, nah… we’ll pop in sometime between breakfast and dinner,” says Aunt Joan, when you ask her what time she, Uncle Jim and their four kids are stopping by. Say what?! That’s a 10+ hour window!

We know that plans need to be flexible, but getting a handle on how many you’re catering for is always helpful when you’re putting on Chrissy dinner. So before you start prepping for a three-course fancy sit-down meal for the whole family, make you’re all on the same page.

Make a Plan

Once you’ve rallied your troops and know who’s coming, you can start to make a plan.

  • Breakfast, lunch or dinner?

  • Potluck or just turn up?

  • Formal sit-down dinner or just grab a spot anywhere in the house?

  • Traditional menu or Christmas BBQ? Or even – gasp – just a good ol’ grazing platter?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Christmas. At the end of the day, every whanau needs to find what works best for them.

Forget Tradition

We’re firm believers in trying new things during the holidays. Just because you’ve always made the same broccoli doesn’t mean you need to do the same again this year!

Feel free to mix it up and try a new dish – there’s nothing wrong with trying something new like these Lemony Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Breadcrumbs. You might even be onto a new family favourite.

A lamb leg on the BBQ is heaps easier than a roast turkey, and a decorated store-bought pav might go down just as well as a Christmas pudding. In short – throw stale traditions out the window and embrace a relaxed Kiwi Christmas.

Count Your Pennies

'Tis the season, so you don’t want to feel like Scrooge. However, you don't want to break the bank either.

Before you start buying tonnes of pricey proteins or spending up a storm, make a budget and check out the prices online to make sure you're only spending what you can afford. If others are contributing to the festive meal, find out what they can afford too.

It's always nice to have a cheery Christmas dinner, but no one wants to be eating pot noodles for weeks, just to afford their portion of the food!

Make Ahead

If you’re dreading the thought of being stuck in the kitchen for most of Christmas day, choose dishes that can be prepped ahead of time and can either be served cold or just popped in the oven.

For the ultimate stress-free Christmas, steer clear of anything that you know will take you hours on the big day!

We love prepping these yummy Charcuterie Wreaths ahead of time – festive, fun and delicious!

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