5 ways to time-save this Christmas day
Cooking for the masses this year but worried about spending lots of time and money? Cooking on Christmas day isn’t just expensive because the pressure to host the day for the family can also be very stressful.
Not only are we, as parents, worrying about spending money, we are also spending our time on shopping, cleaning and cooking, which is taking valuable time away from the enjoyment of this precious time.
Spending lots of money at Christmas is one thing for those who are lucky enough to splurge, but spending your whole day in the kitchen cooking the food and making sure everything is perfect is taking away something that is much more valuable: the joy and excitement of just being with your children and family.
So how do we just relax when there is so much pressure on us to perform? We have come up with 5 ways to save yourself time this Christmas day.
1. HOST A CHRISTMAS POTLUCK DINNER
Who says you have to cook everything when you’re hosting? No parent should feel like they have to supply all the food, or feel guilty about wanting to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the family so if everyone is heading to your house this Christmas, ask them to bring a salad, a dessert or some snacks.
Christmas is about giving and every bit helps take the pressure off the host. It will also be fun for everyone when the time comes to share all the goodies at the table. Sharing food that everyone brings from their own home is also a great change-of-conversation topic for when someone ultimately brings up what is happening in politics.
2. DELEGATE SOMEONE TO DRINKS
Learn the art of delegation by asking others to organise and serve drinks. It may sound like a small task; however, when you have many thirsty people on a hot Christmas day constantly wanting cold drinks, it may turn out that you will spend a lot of time serving drinks.
Instead of spending time worrying about glasses and cups or whether there is enough ice in the freezer, call ahead and ask someone to bring drinks and extra glasses, or grab a bag of ice from the servo on the way over. It is only a small request and it will save you a lot of time, especially at the end of the day when someone else is making everyone tea and coffee while you relax.
3. BUY THINGS PRE-MADE
Pre-made food has come a long way, and why should we have to make a salad from scratch when we can buy a perfectly good pre-made one from the store? There are no rules to say that we need to spend hours in the kitchen, and pre-packaged goodies are just the time-saving items we could all use on a busy Christmas day. Pre-packed food can be a bit pricier, but if your budget allows for it it is a great way to save time and energy. Pick up a bunch of tasty salads from the store the day before and pop them in bowls to serve.
By buying pre-made salads, you will save yourself a lot of preparation and cooking time and still have plenty of food for everyone to enjoy. Less prep means more time enjoying the day!
4. HAVE A BARBEQUE
If you have a barbeque in the backyard, use it. Don’t even turn on the oven this Christmas and instead, cook everything outside on the barbeque! Most foods can be easily cooked on these gas-powered contraptions including grilling vegetables to perfection. Best of all, cooking a barbeque can be fun for the whole family, so get everyone involved in cooking Christmas lunch and spend time together as well… win-win!
Click here for some barbeque cooking tips.
5. FOOD DELIVERY OR CLICK AND COLLECT
Forget battling the crowds in the shops the day before Christmas because with a little bit of forward planning you can get everything you need delivered to your door or loaded into your car. If you haven’t heard of click and collect, you can read about it and more in our Single Parent Secrets: 10 ways to lighten the load blog. You can simply order your food online, park out front in a designated spot and have someone load your shopping into your car. Easy… and no delivery fee!
Make it your mission to do less this Christmas by using these 5 helpful Christmas day time-saving hacks, and give yourself some well-deserved time to spend with your family and enjoy all the festive happiness… After all, we all deserve to enjoy ourselves on this special day.
NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT THIS CHRISTMAS?
If you are feeling stressed, Better Health has some more information to help take the pressure off. If you are or someone you know is finding this Christmas especially difficult, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline 13 11 14 both have counsellors who are available 24 hours a day, so feel free to call them if you feel overwhelmed.
Parent Line: Parent Line is a phone support service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old. Phone 13 22 89.
Mensline Australia: Support and information for single fathers. Phone: 1300 78 99 78.
Relationships Australia: Relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Phone 1300 364 277.
WIRE: Free support, referral and information for all Victorian women, nonbinary and gender diverse people. Phone: 1300 134 130.