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A Must-Read Guide: 7 Days of Prep Before Hosting Christmas Day

Preparing to host loved ones on Christmas Day is a special task that can be a bit stressful. There is lots to prepare: presents, food, cleaning, and taking a moment to yourself to soak in the holiday cheer (and have a shower). By laying out a plan of attack one week in advance, you can rest assured your home will be ready for the festivities without you feeling exhausted as a result. 

December 18: Confirm RSVPs

It is important to know your final headcount. This number will help you determine how much food to buy, how many place settings to set, presents to purchase, etc. This is also a great opportunity to verify any allergies or dietary restrictions. 

December 19: Make a Timeline for Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, you don’t want to be trying to figure out when to start cooking the potatoes so that they are ready for mashing at the same time the cooked turkey is resting – it is essentially a math problem! And how does preparing dinner fit in with your guests arriving and you serving appetizers? Take the stress off your shoulders by making a Christmas Day timeline. Plan out your day based on when food needs to be prepped and cooked, any last-minute tidying, and when guests will arrive. Don’t forget to schedule some time for yourself to get ready (or take a nap).

Girl writing letter while wrapping presents

December 20: Wrap Presents (and Final Gift Shopping)

Complete any last-minute gift shopping and spend the afternoon wrapping presents. Put on some Christmas music or a movie to get you even more in the Christmas spirit. Make sure while you’re out you grab any wrapping paper, gift bags, name tags, and tape that you need.

December 21: Menu Plan & Grocery Shop

Keeping allergies and dietary restrictions in mind, create your menu for your Christmas feast. If cooking a turkey, aim for one pound per person (plus some extra pounds for leftovers). As for sides, the consensus is to have a potato dish, veggie dish, stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread, and of course, dessert. Having a list while grocery shopping will ensure you’re not running out on Christmas Eve for last minute items.

Christmas tablescape with food. Couple clinking glasses together.

December 22: Refresh Linens

Nothing quite says “welcome to my home” like freshly laundered linens. Add fresh hand towels to your powder room and tea towels in the kitchen. If you are having overnight guests, change the sheets and refresh towels in the bathrooms.

December 23: Clean & Catch-All

Dress in comfortable clothes, put on a high-energy playlist and start cleaning your house. Start with the areas where your guests will be, like the kitchen, living room and powder room. Next move onto the second floor, even if you don’t anticipate guests being up there. There is always one family member who insists on another tour of your home because “they just can’t picture what your walk-in closet” looks like. Save yourself a little embarrassment and at least make the upstairs rooms tidy. By getting the cleaning done a couple days in advance, you will be able to relax tomorrow knowing the heavy lifting is done. You can also use this day to finish any last-minute items you didn’t complete on Days 1-5.

December 24: Rest & Recharge

You have worked hard the last six days and now it is time to rest and recharge before all the Christmas Day festivities. We suggest you treat yourself to lunch at your favourite spot and go for a massage – hey, it’s Christmas. Treat yourself!

Couple in festive clothes cuddling on floor by fire

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