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  • Steff Booth

Last minute Christmas check-list

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, every family is different. We all have our own traditions when it comes to the festive season and although we probably repeat the same things each year, it’s very easy to forget a few things along the way, especially if most of the preparation is left to just one person (you know who you are). Based upon the Christmas that I have grown up with, here is a quick check-list to scan down to make sure that you’re as prepared as you can be.

Food & Drink

  • Making a list of what meals you’ll be having over the Christmas period will help with making sure you’ve got everything in that you need

  • If you’re preparing the Christmas lunch you might need: turkey/duck/goose/chicken, potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, gravy, Christmas pudding, custard, brandy sauce, cream, ice cream

  • Do you have to cater for vegetarians or anyone with food allergies?

  • Most shops will be closed on Christmas Day and some will be closed on Boxing Day, so make sure you have everything you need until at least the 27th December

  • Don’t forget the chutney, pickle and mayonnaise to enjoy with the cold turkey

  • Check the cupboards for plastic containers, kitchen foil and cling film to help with storing the leftovers

  • Snacks and nibbles will always be useful, especially if you are expecting guests

  • Do you have something you can bring out in an emergency in case of unexpected guests?

  • Drinks: Have you stocked up with wine, Champagne, soft drinks, juice, milk and tea and coffee?


  • Best to double check your list of friends and family to make sure you haven’t forgotten anyone Check all your hiding places to make sure you’ve retrieved all the gifts you’ve purchased (When I was a little girl, I once received a gift on the 28th December from my Auntie because my Mum had hidden it under the bed and forgotten all about it)

  • Make sure all the gifts have tags firmly attached so you know which gifts are which

  • Have you remembered gifts for the pets in your family?

  • Keep all the Christmas gift receipts in an envelope in case anyone needs to return anything


  • If you’re having a real Christmas tree, soaking it first will help it to last longer and prevent the needles from dropping

  • If you have an artificial tree, retrieve it from the loft/garage/cupboard in good time

  • Don’t forget to check any decorative lights and change any bulbs that are dead

  • Retrieve your box of decorations and replace/repair any tinsel, baubles or candles that have been damaged since last year

  • If you like to display your Christmas cards you might want to stock up with string, pegs or blue tack before the cards start dropping though the letter box

  • A door wreath will provide a festive welcome for any guests to your home


  • Find out what’s happening in your local area that the family can get involved in

  • Buy a copy of the Christmas TV guide so you can prepare in advance for all the repeats that will be shown

  • If the Christmas TV schedule doesn’t float your boat, stock up with DVDs to keep the family quiet

  • Stock up with batteries for any gifts that need them

  • Retrieve the board games and the playing cards from the cupboard – something for all the family to get involved in

  • If the board games are a little ‘old hat’ for your family, make sure the games controllers are all charged up and ready

Visiting Friends & Family

  • If you’re planning a long car journey, make sure the car is fully fuelled, check the tyres, the oil and coolant and stock up with emergency supplies in case the weather turns bad (shovel, blanket, water, snacks)

  • Don’t forget to check the train/bus timetables before setting out in case a reduced service is in operation and remember to take you tickets / travel cards with you

  • You might want to take a small gift for your hosts if you’re visiting someone else’s home

  • Make sure that pets are being looked after if you’re away for a while

Other Stuff

Stocking up on headache tablets, indigestion tablets and basic first aid items would be a good idea – there’s nothing worse than needing these things when all the shops are shut!



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