The vows to myself about Christmas Dinner


I will not get drunk.

Last year, my brother-in-law brought champagne. We live with mother-in-law on the farm and he was visiting for the season.

I decided to calm my ‘cooking-Christmas-dinner-nerves’ with a gin and tonic, then had another. It was Christmas after all. My husband then invited me to join his family in their side of the house where I had two glasses of champagne. Big mistake. Have you ever wondered if you can burn sprouts? You can.


Christmas dinner was only for my mum and dad, husband and daughter and everyone was very polite but the sprouts were burnt and the roast potatoes were soft on one side and super-crispy on the other. I even forgot to cook the sausages wrapped in bacon. On the positive side, thanks to the gin and champagne, I didn’t care.

I think part of the problem in the ‘stress’ of cooking Christmas dinner is the pressure I put on myself.

It has to be right. It is usually a lot of things that have to be ready at the same time. I love cooking and cook meals every day of the week for my family so there shouldn’t be a problem.

There is something about Christmas dinner however that sends me into a mini-meltdown.

I promise this year that I am just going to repeat to myself over and over-‘this is just a Sunday dinner. This is just a Sunday dinner.’ Well it is.

Yes you may have a couple of more vegetables but it shouldn’t make me resort to alcohol!

 I recently read something by Mary Berry-the bona fide goddess of everything cooking and baking and she said she part cooks many of her vegetables and accompaniments in advance for Christmas dinner so she can spend time with her family. Christmas is a time to spend time with your family-especially if you have children so I think this is the way to go.

 For Boo’s first Christmas I did parboil my carrots, parsnips and sprouts in advance as it was her first and I wanted to help her play with her new toys.

 I don’t know what happened last year. I think I thought it would all fall together.

I will not make the same mistake this year.

So I have bought ready made parsnips, red cabbage and sausages wrapped in bacon. I will have enough to do on the day itself so why make more work?

I will parboil my potatoes and carrots on Christmas Eve and I am currently looking for a starter that can be made ahead. We usually have soup but I’ve decided I need something that is done.

The only thing I will have to do on Christmas Day is cook the turkey and heat the veg. No need to worry Mrs Lander!



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