How to organize Christmas Eve dinner and not die trying

If this year you have to organize Christmas Eve dinner at home, surely at this point of the month you will be with the attack of nerves to the surface. That's why we have prepared a series of tricks and tips for you to know how to organize Christmas Eve dinner and not die trying.

Live to the PalateThe perfect Christmas Eve menu (with leftovers for Christmas included)

In addition to the tips, I've included some anecdotes so you can take whatever happens with humor. It is the best recipe to relieve tension and finally get what you really want: spend a good night with the family, offer them your best Christmas menu and especially laugh all together.

The key is the Organization: the previous days

The menu

Take paper and pen and think and write the Christmas menu you are going to prepare. Choose carefully the appetizers, the main course or dishes and the dessert. Don't forget drinks, nougat and Christmas candy and champagne or champagne for toasts. Plate by plate, prepare a list of ingredients and verify what you have at home and what you have to buy.

Do not improvise. If you have decided this year that you want to make a sophisticated and difficult dish, you better train it and don't leave the "emotion"for the day that your brothers-in-law and your mother-in-law are going to judge you. It may be preferable to go safe but if you decide to do something special, try to be one of our Direct to the Palate recipes because you know they are the ones that always come out and at first.

Review the list of those who are coming and check that you have planned meals for the children, that you have remembered the intolerance of one and those who do not like another. If you have memory, Try not to repeat the same menu they did the previous year To avoid comparisons.


Preparing a Christmas table is a fun but laborious task. Think of the tablecloth and the details. I always remember the year I had everything ready and when we extended the tablecloth we saw that it had a hole in an area. Luckily we could solve it by placing plants, under-plates and ornaments but with everything, although it looked beautiful, a glass of water thrown by my niece made everyone move the glasses to clean ... and they discovered me.

That is why it is essential to prepare it in advance, when everything has a solution and it is time to change the tablecloth, find another one or even buy one if necessary. By the way ... hasn't it happened to you that the tablecloth we want appears but there are no matching napkins? In those cases, using all different of different colors may be a solution, but better check that we have everything.

This year, fashion is asking… "the mobile goes to the left or right"joking with the typical confusion when it comes to taking the bread when you take your partner's next door ...

House decoration

Prepare the tree, the figurines, the tinsel and the lights It is a task in which the whole family can get involved. I usually make some butter cookies and hang them from the tree and so the children have fun if they get tired of sitting.

It's also good visit a decoration shop or a gift bazaar and buy Christmas items. They brighten the house and give a good atmosphere. At the end of dinner, if you do not want to save them, you can give them to the little ones, who will be happy to bring them, although their parents will look at you strangely.

The purchase

The key moment arrives. The purchase of the ingredients that we are going to cook. Calculate the quantities well. It's a shame at the price that is all about food and wasted. Every year we end up fed up with so much food and although we make amends, we fall back into the same mistakes.

Remember what is a dinner and the next day there is another feast, so you don't have to go over. To save on the purchase, remember to consider the following tips.

  • Do not leave it for the last day. Everything gets very expensive on the 23rd and 24th.
  • The things that have to be that day - fish or lamb, turkey etc - it is convenient to have them commissioned a few days before to know that we will find them in the store.
  • You can buy things days before and freeze them. (I do that too)
  • Remember the online stores, which they give impeccable service

Seek help / complicity from the whole family

A help when shopping, chopping onions, or setting the table is always welcome. Make them accomplices asking them to help you decorate the table, organize the dishes or give ideas. In times of more tension, everything is fine.

What to do when it is day 24

Don't lose your cool, there's still time ... let's see the day slowly ...

A) In the morning

Set the table. Leave everything ready so you don't have to take care of that part anymore. If you are going to take sausage dishes, mount them now and cover each one with a transparent plastic film. Store them in the fridge and remember to take them out half an hour before starting the banquet, so that they sit and remain as freshly cut.

Start with the longer elaborations so that they are ready in the absence of the last heat. The things that have to be done in the moment, leave them for the afternoon. Build a team at home and distribute tasks:

  • Buy bread
  • Check that there are drinks for everyone
  • Ice, glasses, napkins, coffee, don't miss anything
  • Last minute shopping

Take a while to think, prepare the clothes that you are going to wear for dinner and leave it on the bed. Everything is ready. You can continue

B) At noon

Prepare a very light meal, keep in mind that dinner will be copious. A hot soup feels great - except if you have planned to make a fish soup or a Christmas soup to start dinner.

C) In the afternoon

Time is on you and you have to cook and pick up at full speed. The first guests arrive and you are still fighting with seafood - here the tricks to cook a spider crab, for example - while they sit on TV to watch the Christmas speech by S.M. the king. It is essential to remain calm and work in the kitchen as if it were a normal day.

I always remember the scene of Mr. Bean stuffing the turkey while waiting for his girlfriend's visit and where he ends putting the head inside the turkey to retrieve the watch he lost inside while filling it. Remember to remain calm and do everything planned as you have imagined. Everything will be fine.

And finally the time comes. Everyone awaits your arrival, you take off your apron, you get ready a bit and while they start to realize the snacks, all the tension goes away. The little ones rehearse the Christmas function and the first Christmas carols are heard.

It is time to go to the fridge, take the first bottle of champagne or champagne and approach the group saying, "We are going to toast." I hope everything goes well for you and enjoy a delicious family Christmas Eve.

Images | D. Wolf | Pakus | Direct to the Palate
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