Prepare as much as possible beforehand but leave seafood purchases until the last minute.
Prepare as much as possible beforehand but leave seafood purchases until the last minute.

Organisation saves heap of stress

THE lead-up to Christmas Day is hectic. If you're hosting Christmas lunch it's time to get organised.

Professional organiser and director of successfulliving.com.au Narelle Todd said there were a number of tasks that could be done in the final days leading up to Christmas to ensure the big day runs smoothly.

To ease the stress of cooking on the day, look at your menu and aim to prepare as much as possible beforehand, Ms Todd said.

For example, "chop up vegies the night before and store them in water in the fridge".

She said the only task best left to the last minute was buying seafood.

"The closer you can get the seafood to the date the better," Ms Todd said.

The expert said the next step to getting organised was making sure all gifts were purchased.

Ms Todd suggests buying and storing a couple of generic gifts, like chocolates, in case you discover on the day you've forgotten to buy for someone.

When it comes to sprucing up the house before guests arrive, Ms Todd recommends getting the kids to help.

"Get the kids involved and get them cleaning... delegate and get them to vacuum and do other last-minute jobs so you're not the one doing everything," she said.

But the most important thing to do in the days before Christmas was to give yourself an "attitude check", Ms Todd said.

When expecting family and guests at Christmas we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves - it's an overwhelming time, Ms Todd explained.

Take time to "chill out" and realise that Christmas Day most likely won't be perfect.

"Things can go wrong - you might drop things on the floor or a dish can be ruined," she explained

If you accept that things won't be perfect it will take the pressure off and help you enjoy the day more.


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