Check This Christmas List! Have You Remembered…?

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

  • Last minute guests, baking tray burns, fridge food overflow… The Christmas countdown can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Take the stress out of those last minute preparations with our guide…

    Know your deadlines…

    Bought your stamps? Good. Make sure you’re not caught out by last posting and ordering dates by bookmarking our handy guide. If you want to create a 2017 calendar of, say, family pictures, start collating them now and leave two weeks to order – they usually take four or five working days, but allow extra time at Christmas… especially if you want to send overseas!

    Give yourself deadlines for your “need to dos” and ease stress by ticking them off as you go. Make it easy with a website like; it’s a system used widely for work, but you can make personal boards too and invite family members to take on tasks with deadlines.

    Check your first aid kit

    Make sure you’re ready for minor mishaps with:

    Plasters, including blister plasters

    A burn relief gel for minor accidents like hitting your arm against a hot oven tray

    Paracetamol and a fast-acting ibuprofen for headaches, but watch how many people are downing so they don’t go over the limits. That goes for all-in-one cold remedies too.

    Indigestion/diarrhoea relief

    Instant vitamin tablets are great as a morning-after pick-me-up.

    Stock up your freezer…

    Freeze these to free up valuable fridge space:

    Ready-to-bake baguettes and an extra sliced loaf. So handy for breakfast – you can pop slices in the toaster from frozen.

    Butter – tightly wrap in foil to prevent oxidization.

    Orange juice – it may go a bit more watery after, but not significantly.

    Sausages and bacon – thaw overnight in the fridge.

    Food Director Jane Curran recommends making these foods to freeze ahead…

    A soup or two for easy lunches. Check out our Tuscan Bean and Sausage recipe.

    Ragù decanted into reasonable portion sizes for a comforting pasta supper, for two or four.

    A couple of warming casseroles. Everyone loves our Normandy pork casserole!

    We always have a bag of frozen peas (instant risotto), plus prawns and mince for easy suppers… and frozen skinny fries, for those munchie moments!

    Did you know?
    If a large bag of crisps is opened but hardly any eaten, they’ll keep better in the freezer in an airtight bag… and you can eat them from frozen; they just taste crispier!

    Be prepared with last minute gift ideas…

    These little ideas are great for unexpected guests… or to use as favours at place settings when you’re having people over for dinner.

    Star Christmas Cookies

    Buy now at for £3.99

    Sweetie Selection Game Box

    Buy now at for £14.99

    Looking Good Compact Mirror

    Buy now at for £5

    Vintage & Co Fabrics and Flowers Mini Hand Care Set

    Buy now at for £7

    Happy Jackson Mini Nail Files

    Buy now at for £1.95 each