You know how it is on the big day, you spend time having breakfast, opening presents, clearing up wrapping paper, then the neighbours call in, the dogs need walking and your mum-in-law spends two hours telling you about how she used to cook for 28 people on a 2 ring stove, or somesuch nonsense.
Make time for ALL the things by preparing ahead a little
Make and freeze stock for gravy, or gravy itself. If you make a good stock you can add the meat juices to it on the day 🦃 (or not, if you are a vegetarian 🥕)
Make and freeze mashed potato. Defrost then reheat in the microwave, you can jee it up with a bit more butter and milk.
Parboil and freeze potatoes for roasting. Freeze them on a tray, spaced apart, then put them into a freezer bag. Defrost before cooking.
Parboil carrots, brussels and parsnips a couple of days before, dip them in iced water, cover and put in fridge. On the day just sauté them in butter.
If you are having turkey you can cook it so it’s done a couple of hours before dinner is ready, then remove it and cover it in foil and some insulation so your oven is free for all the other stuff. Buy a high welfare turkey that’s only as big as you actually need for dinner that day.
Make and put into serving bowls sauces such as cranberry or bread sauce a day or two before Christmas
Set the Christmas table ahead of time, make sure you have all your bits and pieces and that glasses are all shiny. Consider buying reusable crackers so that a whale doesn’t end up with a tiny cheese grater embedded in its throat.
Best of all, have a lovely time by just buying enough food, and not too much. Simplify, feel comfy and remain able to stand so you can go on that Christmassy walk over the fields and through the woods!