Style, Decor & More: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Christmas Dinner

A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Christmas Dinner

Disclosure: This is a sponsor-written post. 

The Christmas tree and holiday decorations are up and now is certainly the right time of year to get started with your Christmas dinner preparations. There’s still plenty of time to get things in order, including your grocery shopping and recipe preparation.
As much as you don’t want to admit it, hosting Christmas can be very stressful, but with good organization you’ll have the time on your side to rectify any hiccups that come your way before the big day.
We have prepared an informative step-by-step guide to help you plan a stress-free and delicious Christmas dinner!
Cater for all tastes
Hosting Christmas for the masses can be very daunting, especially if you’re catering for people with different tastes. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, get to know each of your guest’s ideal food preferences and compromise where necessary if there is a major clash in taste.
Analyze your Kitchen
Once you’ve planned and figured out the size of your Christmas dinner task, it’s very important to check whether you have the equipment and capacity to see it through before starting to purchase the items required.
Does your freezer have the room to hold a turkey? Is your oven large enough for the task ahead? Are your stovetop burners working correctly, or are they in need of repair? Do you have enough baking trays and pans to cook accordingly?
All factors need to be considered and by spotting any potential setbacks early, you still have time to put them right.  
The Food Shop
Once you know all the ingredients and items you require, the food shop could be considered the easiest stage of your preparation, however if left until the final days before Christmas then the food shop can make or break your dinner.
For Christmas essentials, such as spirits, chocolate and Christmas pudding - products which ideally have a long shelf life – you should get them in as soon as possible to combat any last-minute inconsequences.
Get your grocery shopping done weeks in advance, provided the shelf-life of your ingredients can survive the test of time. If you’re planning on purchasing meat from a popular butcher, then get your order in now, before your desired items sell out.
Defrost the Turkey
With a couple of days to go before the big day, this is the ideal time to start defrosting your turkey. If you’ve purchased a fairly big turkey then it’s recommended that it may take around two days to defrost in the fridge.
You may notice that your turkey has come without a recommended defrosting time on the packaging, so if this is the case the NHS recommend that you should defrost the turkey in a fridge at 39°F (4°C) for 10-12 hours per kg. Some people decide to defrost their turkey in a cool room to speed up the defrosting process, however it’s recommended that the best place to defrost it is on the bottom shelf of the fridge.  
When you’re at this stage, it’s important to remember that this is best time to stock up on fresh foods with a short shelf life that you weren’t able to stock up on earlier in the month.
Go over your final preparations
With your shopping done, recipes ready and turkey defrosting, Christmas Eve is a good time to do some final prep before chilling out and watching family holiday movies.
Short tasks such as preparing the potatoes, trimming the Brussel sprouts and defrosting the stuffing can be done the night before as they can be stored in your fridge until the next morning. Make sure that you take all items out of the freezer and pop them into the fridge to ensure that they’ll defrost in good time.
It’s a good idea to set the table for Christmas dinner the night before as this will save you time on Christmas morning when you should be relaxing.
Christmas Day
With all your preparation, complete, cooking Christmas dinner should be much more straightforward.
Check the cooking instructions for your turkey and preheat the oven at the required temperature. Leave your turkey outside of the fridge for around half an hour before placing it in the oven.
After cooking the turkey for three quarters of an hour, baste the turkey for the first time before doing it again four times at half hour intervals, as this keeps it moist.
Once thirty minutes have passed since the last basting, start heating the sprouts and put the potatoes in the oven.
Now it’s time to remove your turkey from the oven and cover it with foil, but only loosely to fully benefit the development of the flavors. Once done, then leave your turkey to stand.
After a quarter of an hour begin to prepare your pigs in blankets and place them in the oven accompanied by your stuffing for around half an hour.
Twenty minutes after you’ve placed these items in the oven will be the ideal time to begin boiling your carrots, broccoli and any other vegetables you plan to have with your dinner.
Don’t worry you’re almost there. As you leave your vegetables to boil for up to ten minutes, remove all the contents from the oven such as your potatoes and stuffing, before finally draining your vegetables. Finally, prepare your gravy and make sure other condiments are on the table ready for your guests to use.

Once all that is done, it’s time to serve dinner. Sit back, relax and enjoy Christmas day with your family until it all starts again next year! {smile}


  1. Thanks for the guide. It helps to be organized during this time of year.

    1. I agree Elyse! Staying organized is very important!
      Have a great weekend!

  2. What a great guide! I have taken note and hoping Christmas goes well. Merry Christmas :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ivonne! Merry Christmas to you too! :)

  3. Great guide for hosting Christmas. I Have never hosted Christmas, but I can imagine it is super stressful at times. Such a busy day.

  4. Such great tips for the big day. I always host Thanksgiving and use a similar process. We do our "big" meal on Christmas Eve and then just prepare a lot of appetizers to munch on all day on Christmas (after a big, traditional breakfast). I do love a good, traditional Christmas meal, though, too!!

  5. Hosting Christmas dinner can be stressful so a guide like yours can be really helpful. There's just so many little details to remember. I know I'm likely to forget to defrost the turkey, or something crazy like that.

  6. I love hosting dinners at my home, for whatever occassion, but you're right -- it is so stressful. This guide is perfect for remembering all of those details that can sometimes get lost in the final moments. I tend to be a procrastinating perfectionist, which often gets me in trouble!

  7. I think during the festive season especially if you're hosting its important to have a plan in place and I am loving your tips. We like to sit down and plan to cater for all visitors if we can

  8. I've only hosted Christmas dinner once for our extended family. I definitely had to make myself a timed guide so that nothing would get burnt or get cold waiting. This is a perfect guide for those very reasons.

  9. This is very helpful for a holiday get together! I love the image of those "Christmas crackers." We have them every year and pull them apart and have fun with the toys and hats inside. It is a fun tradition for us.


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