Well this year with me being pregnant, we are taking a bit of a back seat for Christmas. My in-laws house is fully functioning (mostly) once again and so we don’t even have anybody staying with us this year. It’s going to be SO quiet – the cats will love it! However, we are still obviously playing an active role in Christmas as much as we can and after hosting last year we have learned a little bit about things we can make and buy ahead of Christmas to give us a bit of a head start. It will mean I can relax a bit more on the run up to Christmas day. It also means we spread the cost, so less stressing about that December bank balance.
Here’s my list of ten things we made and bought ahead of Christmas day and how we stored them.
- Stock – we have a freezer full of stock that we will be using as a base for our Christmas gravy. We keep a ziplock bag in the freezer which we put veg peelings and onion skins in, we keep bones from meat and then make it into a stock when the bag is full then freeze it and store in plastic containers.
- Dripping – instead of buying an expensive jar of goose or duck fat keep the dripping from all of your meat in a clean jar in the fridge. Don’t worry about mixing dripping from different meat.
- Christmas Cake – obviously this is pretty much a given, but if you make it far enough in advance you can have it made and decorated by the first week of December, just store it in an airtight box or cake tin.
- The day before you can chop all your veg and leave in pots of water, for parsnips just coat them in oil and store in a bag (if you put a little oil in the bag you can just shake it to coat the parsnips). You can also par boil and par roast your potatoes so that they just need reheating and crisping up in the oven.
- Jams, pickles and long life sauces that can be stored in a cupboard or even better, a box where you will forget about it until you do your last pre-Christmas grocery shop.
- Cheese biscuits, crackers, sweet biscuits with a good shelf life – put them in your Christmas box too.
- Christmas pudding – if there’s a particular one you like then buy it as soon as you see it, they keep amazingly well and you can throw that in the aforementioned box too.
- Cordials and drinks – stock up on any liqueurs you like, bottles of wine on offer and even cordials and soft drinks. Remember to only buy it if you need it though, otherwise you’re going to waste money on something that sits in your cupboard after Christmas because it seemed like a good offer at the time.
- Gradually stock up on any extras you need such as glasses, cutlery, crockery, tablecloths etc. You don’t want to have a mad pre-Christmas dash to ikea and end up spending loads just before the big day (and battle with all those crowds!).
- Sausage meat for your stuffing, which you can put in the freezer then defrost a day or so before you need it. You can make your pigs in blankets too and freeze them, but sometimes bacon doesn’t freeze and thaw so well.