Mak Tok’s essential preparation tips for Christmas

How to prepare for Christmas?

Christmas can be a crazy time, as soon as bonfire night passes and the nights start to get dark early Christmas seems to be in front of us in no time. It seems the preparations start earlier and earlier each year. I was seeing Christmas items on the shopping channels as early as August this year?! At the time of this article, I have seen M & S’s Percy pig Christmas advert and our Christmas Ad has launched (make sure to check it out). This got me thinking, when should we really start Christmas preparations and what should we get started on as soon as?

 

I would be lying if I said I was always prepared with everything bought and presents wrapped the week before Christmas. However, I sat down with my team this year to see how many tips and tricks we could come up with and what preparations they do. This blog will present our top Christmas tips and tricks to get you prepared for the big day and save you the last-minute dash.

 

  1. Work out a budget

Christmas can be an expensive time for all of us. Extra meals out, work parties, presents and of course the extra food. Of course we all like to treat ourselves and our loved ones at this time of year but the costs do certainly add up quickly. Last Christmas was the first time I actually took a wage since founding Mak Tok. My wage of £250 is what I used to budget for the whole of the festive period.

 christmas budget

Our tip is to make the most of the Black Friday sales. An event that’s so easily accessible in the digital world as you can now avoid the mad rush in stores and just sit back and watch the crazy videos of the chaos on social media. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on our website and social media to see the big discounts we will be offering! Getting the bulk of your shopping done early will reduce them last minute rushes to town and overspending on the last minute panic buys.

 

Will’s top tip: Create a list of people who you buy presents for. This makes it easier for Black Friday browsing, especially on sites where there may be limited stock!

 

  1. Get your calendar/ diary filled in and up to date

 

This was something I certainly only come to master recently and it was sort of forced upon me with being a business owner. For us at Mak Tok it’s a crazy time of year. With our Christmas campaign we have extra content to produce, extra orders to pack, a Christmas market most weekends all of which leads to a small amount of time to ourselves. Having my calendar filled out seems to make the chaotic schedule feel a little more relaxed. I even have a date written in to put up the Christmas decorations and wrap the presents this year!

 

Will’s top tip: The more detail the better. Set a date for the decoration shopping, the main Xmas shop or even the day to decorate the house. All this will only help you have a more relaxed environment and make sure all the essentials and extra fun activities are done!

 

  1. Sauces to suit everyone

Apart from the main Christmas dinner, party food and buffets are an essential part of the festive period. From mini burgers to Tempura prawns there is a whole range of delicious delights we have at the buffets. With such a wide range of flavours, a sauce for all occasions is needed. Check out Mak Tok’s sauce essentials for the festive period.

 

Sweet Sauce – Cranberry Jam

Savoury – Gravy, BBQ

Spicy – Sambal, chilli sauce

Herby – Mint sauce, Garlic and herb, tzatziki

Sour – Pineapple relish

 christmas sauces

Will's top tip: Make sure you have all your Mak Tok pastes and sauces ready for the festive period. We are sure your guests will love it to spice up their their buffets!

 

  1. Christmas Dinner Preparation

If you’re the chosen one and responsible to be cooking the Christmas dinner this year, then I’m sure you’re already thinking of how to make it easier on yourself for the big day. Well, our tip is don’t leave it all until the actual day. If you’re off work Christmas Eve and all your presents are wrapped and delivered (which they should be if you follow our other steps) then we recommend getting some of the work done early.

 christmas dinner prep

Items such as stuffing and gravy can always be done before the day, put in the fridge and just be reheated when it comes to the final serving.

 

Will’s top tip: With Christmas day falling on a Saturday this year you may be working all the way up to the Friday. We would recommend getting the prep done the weekend before and clearing out some freezer space to store some items.

 

  1. Assign a task for everyone

Teamwork makes the dream work right? Once all the presents have been unwrapped in the morning, I’m sure all attention turns to the Christmas lunch. Being part of a big family, we use to delegate little jobs across the family so no one felt like they had to do too much. Being over faced with too many tasks is not what we want at Christmas, so it’s all about chipping in. Key tasks we say to delegate is the setting of the table, a designated drinks handler, the chef, the plater, and the runner!

 

Will’s top tip: To try and get the younger ones to participate and feel part of the team is actually hold back some of the smaller stocking fillers to give them throughout the day. With a to do list they can tick this off when they have completed a job and get a little present as a reward!

 

  1. Get your Xmas playlist sorted

This seemed to pop up a lot in our brain storming session and led to many debates to when Christmas music is acceptable to play as well as to what the best Christmas song ever is. The dates ranged from 6th November all the way up to 18th December to start the music.

 christmas playlist

Will’s top tip: Don’t have a playlist of all Christmas songs. By the time it gets to Christmas day, you will of over heard the same songs in the office, on your commute and at the Christmas party. So be sure to add in some up beat classics that get the family up and dancing.

 

  1. Check your courier's delivery dates

Another one that never really crossed my mind until running a business and I have to get all our customers product out ready for Christmas. If you’re heading to the post office the week before Christmas then it’s likely to be chaotic. We recommend getting all your stamps and presents out early to avoid the ques and try get ahead of them last minute people. Just give your family and friends a heads up that the presents and cards may be arriving slightly earlier this year.

 

Will’s top tip: Don’t leave it until the last day that’s recommended. The amount of parcels that they deal with in the run up to Christmas is crazy and unfortunately the delivery success rate is not always 100% on time.

 

 

With only around 5 weeks to go before the big day we hope these tips at least get you thinking about the best ways to prepare this year. Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones and not stressing over the minor details. It’s still likely to be chaotic, but hopefully with these tips it’s more of an organised fun chaos!