Write up a prep sheet

To put your mind at ease, write up a schedule for tomorrow's menu. This should include what needs to be taken out of the freezer, and when, and also the cooking times and temperatures for individual dishes. This is particularly useful for more complex menus and will really keep stress levels down. We recommend using a highlighter for cooking times and temperatures.

Sort drinks and glasses

If you're expecting a crowd, getting the drinks and glasses the night before can really lighten the workload and the number of people in and out of the kitchen during the meal prep. For those living in chillier climes, soft drinks can be stored outside overnight if you're lacking in space inside your regular fridge.

Prepare any veg in advance

If you're planning to bring lots of vegetables to the table, you can get well ahead in terms of preparation. You can peel and chop vegetables and store them appropriately to be ready for cooking tomorrow. This is actually the perfect moment to play some Christmas carols to bring some cheer to the chores. And it's a great activity to get your children involved in, too!

Prepare your outfits

This may seem unnecessary, but it really helps! Gather your kids and ask them to pick out the outfit they'd like to wear if they were to meet Baby Jesus. (Hopefully these choices will be suitable for Mass, but you can always make some helpful suggestions!) You can be brave and ask your kids to select their favorite outfit for you -- you might be surprised by their choice.

Take a pause by your Nativity set

When things are busy, gather your family to offer a little prayer in front of your Nativity set. You can also take this time to explain the Christmas story up to this point. Remember, if you've set up your manger correctly, baby Jesus should not have made His entrance yet!

Don't forget your furry friends

If you have any pets, spend some time with them to make sure they're well stocked with food and water. If you hae time, clean out any cages, crates, or cat litter so your pet is fully prepared for Christmas, too. It's also a nice idea to take your dogs for a walk so you can grab a moment of fresh air and clear your head.

A family bedtime prayer

Before you tuck your kids up for the night, take the time to pray together. It can be a prayer of gratitude and praise, of hope, or even a prayer for missing loved ones. You can ask your children to join in with their own prayers, too. You could even take the time to say a Rosary together and contemplate Mary awaiting the birth of her Son.