It’s Christmas Eve, the big day is but hours away and you think you’re ready. The kids are in bed, the presents are wrapped and the veggies are prepped so you can settle down for the evening. Then that thought grips you “I’ve forgotten something?” most of the shops are shut so chances are you won’t be able to grab it until Boxing Day. Plan ahead and use this Christmas Day essentials guide to make sure you’re not missing anything.
For The Toys
It is without a doubt that if you have kids they’ll get at least one battery powder, plastic piece of
shite Christmas goodness. Nine times out of 10 that toy needs a battery that you just don’t have to hand, normally something stupid like a D or those tiny watch batteries. You can either just buy all the battery sizes in the world, preferably rechargeable so they last more than an hour, or you can drop all the potential gift senders a quick text to ask if they’ve bought toys that need batteries and find out exactly what you need.
To go with the batteries you’ll also need to make sure you can access the battery compartment. I remember when your average bread knife could pry open any battery compartment but these days toys have stupidly tiny screws. Make sure you’re prepared by having a range of different screwdrivers at the ready.
Lastly, my Christmas Day essential for the toys is moldable glue. Don’t think I’m crazy, please. I was sent some of this to try and it’s awesome. It comes in eight colours, including black and white, single-use packets and is the most functional thing I’ve seen. It’s perfect for toys when the kids get too excited (or a little rough) and something breaks. Open up a packet of Sugru, mould it around the break and BOOM! No more tears and broken toys. You’ll be a superhero! Sets start from £6.99 for three single packets.
Christmas dinner is the high point of the day for most families. A time for everyone to gather round, pull crackers, wear silly hats and fill their bellies with delicious food. It’s super important that you don’t forget anything!
Make a detailed list of everything you need. If you make everything from scratch such as the stuffing and the gravy then make sure you write down every ingredient so you can tick it off as you buy it. If you don’t make it then don’t assume you have it in the cupboard, I normally do this with gravy granules.
I know I’m terrible at making enough to feed the whole of South Yorkshire so recently I grabbed myself a huge Tupperware set so nothing is wasted. So far I’ve used them to store excess soups and stews but I know come Christmas dinner I’ll be using them for everything from roast potatoes to sprouts. There is no harm freezing cooked food so all those uneaten veggies can be used at a later date – or for us, they’ll be thrown into the Boxing Day bubble and squeak.
It might sound obvious but check your cutlery, plates, serving dishes and pans. Make sure there are enough for everyone before the big day, gives you time to hunt down extras that match or just buy a new set; or if you’re really festive then a dedicated Christmas set (Aaron has told me no already *spoilsport*).
No doubt you’ll have stuffed yourself and you might be feeling a little bloated, gassy or even suffer from digestion problems – it’s a common thing these days. Make sure you’ve got plenty of antacids such as Gaviscon or Rennie as well as some painkillers; you don’t want to spend the rest of the festive period in pain.
By this time the kids might have tired of their new toys and about to crash from their sugar rushes so it’s worth thinking about calming activities for the rest of the day. Family board games are a great way to unwind, we’re big UNO fans, so it’s worth making sure you’ve got a good selection in. Failing that then there is always Christmas TV (is that even good these days?) or throw on your favourite Christmas films on Netflix, snuggle under a blanket and drink mulled wine (hot choc for the kids, obviously).
My biggest essential tip is planning! Do it early and make a good list. This means you can tick everything off as you go along and gives you plenty of time so you’re not rushing the day before to get things you could have picked up a week before.
Have I missed anything? Is there something you forget to get every year?