It’s officially holiday party time, in theory the “most wonderful time of the year” but it’s seldom Ho Ho Ho all the way. Funnily enough the festive sprit can get a little toxic when mixed with families, stress, high expectations and a Christmas tipple!ER-Christmas-2010-Natural-Oak-Turtledove-Grey-Gun-Metal-Grey-Landscape-CMYK-1024x731

Keep your Yule Cool and get organized! The kitchen will likely be the hub of activity and the spot where guests are going to want to spend time, so it’s important to spruce it up and get it ready to take on guests and food to prevent damage and major clean up later. Don’t worry about cleaning every nook and cranny, as your time is precious, here are a few cleaning tips that will be worthwhile.

1. Clean clutter from countertops. Get rid of mail and bills lying around, and put important papers away. The only paperwork around should be the Christmas hats while your kitchen is a flurry of activity.

2Christmas Turkey. Clean out the refrigerator. Throw out all the jars of half eaten pickles, pesto chutneys and mustards. The refrigerator will be more crowded than a stable in Jerusalem on Dec 25th, it will have its work cut out with little room to spare. A quick wipe over will ensure it’s nice and fresh and ready to keep the all-important fizz and leftover turkey nice and cool.

3. Check out your dishwasher. Boring we grant you but make sure your dishwasher will run efficiently with a large number of dishes in it. Let’s face it for many of us it will be a very large number of places and no-one wants to end up 1970’s Christmas style with a bowl of hot soapy water and a tea towel so, check the drain and clean off any residue, and make sure there’s no broken glass or lost utensils in the bottom. Wipe off the rim of the door and the door gasket, using white vinegar and a sponge to remove any gunk. Job Done!

4. Count your cutlery, plates and glasses. A last minute panic can leave you flapping more than a basted turkey! Having slaved over Christmas dinner it would be a shame to let it go cold as you empty out the drawers and cupboards to root out the necessary.Champagne Christmas

5. The Guests. On a serious note check out if any guests are veggies or have an allergy. Nut allergies and shellfish are particularly common and can be very severe. Ban pets from the kitchen. A friend of mine once found the cat nibbling away the inside of the Turkey. Yuk!

6. Create a cooking timing plan. In order to have a few festive fizzes while cooking keep a time schedule to one side. Many a Christmas lunch has been spoiled by an over merry chef! Take the brainache away and just pop the timings on paper so you can float through without thinking too much.

Have a Merry Christmas!