I like to have all my main meals (and several smaller meals) planned in advance for Christmas because catering for 8 people for at least 7 days means I need to be organised.
It was Different when I was Young
Thankfully these days I have easy access to local shops and I can still buy food over the holiday period pretty easily – there is no need to stock up as though we are under siege.
Preparing for a Seige
I remember it was very different when I was young – my Mum and my Auntie used to take it in turns to host Christmas so we were two families plus Grandparents – 11 of us in total for many years.
My Mum used to order a huge sack of potatoes (literally a sack, probably 2 foot tall). We had bags of other veg, a big piece of ham for boxing day and gallons of milk in a fridge in the garage.
All about Pork Pies
There were still some items that were only bought at the last minute – my poor brother used to get sent down into the town centre on Christmas Eve morning. His task was to be outside Marks & Spencer for when it opened at 8:00am so he could buy a pork pie for boxing day. What a palaver! I’m not really sure anyone ever loved the pork pie to that extent.
My solution is to keep it simple & delegate
The meals I chose are more about being easy and easy than being the fanciest food. It isn’t always easy finding dishes that meet everyone’s taste but overall I manage.
I used to try and prepare a lot of things in advance but I had trouble with the freezer being too full and it didn’t seem to save me much time.
I also try to include some meals that other people can so we share the workload. My mother in-law will be doing Cottage Pie and my Father will cook his bolognese sauce.
I’ve found that when people are staying they are happy to help – it’s different from when you’re only hosting for the day.