And once you’ve got kids, it requires even more meticulous planning. So, we reckon it’s time you took a few shortcuts to give yourself more time opening presents with the kids (not to mention watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special). We won’t tell if you don’t…
Get creative with present wrappingHands up if you’ve spent days of your life trying to find the end of the Sellotape? Or fed up of attempting to achieve that Kirstie Allsopp level of perfection in your wrapping skills? Yep, us too. Forget all that and get creative instead. Put each person’s presents in a gift bag or a box with loads ripped up tissue paper – it doubles up as a great lucky dip for your tots, too!
Get onlineWe are living in the 21st century so it’s high time we all took advantage of the wonderful world wide web. Save time traipsing to and from the post box and send e-cards online, personalised with your own message, or even family pictures (you always wanted to be elf-ed didn’t you?).
□□And shopping online is a brilliant idea for multi-tasking mums. Plus lots of websites offer free delivery during the festive season. Sign up to your favourite online shop’s newsletters and keep up to date with all the offers, so there’s no bundling your baby into the buggy and hoping you get at least two hours' shopping time before the tears start.
Simplify the Christmas dinnerThere are loads of ways that you can avoid hours chained to your oven on Christmas day (unless your partner /mum/sis has offered to cook, in which case skip this section and give yourself a pat on the back!).
□□There’s plenty you can do in advance. You can cook and freeze your roast potatoes up to a month in advance and traditional Christmas desserts can be made weeks before. The sausages can be wrapped in their blankets and kept in the fridge for as long as their best before date allows, as can the stuffing.
□□On the day itself, use pre-cut vegetables to minimise the chopping time and there’s nothing wrong with using gravy granules, (just watch the salt content for your baby) to save yourself another sauce to prepare.