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How to Delegate Christmas Tasks
I’m a bit of a control freak, so I know what it’s like wanting to do everything yourself. But there is no shame in delegating. In fact, it’s highly recommended on Christmas Day.
Because all good leaders delegate.
Depending on how many make up your household or how many are coming, make sure every one of them has a job to do, from the youngest to the oldest.
In my experience, kids love to be a part of the preparation, and I started mine very, very early. The youngest got the easiest jobs like laying out cutlery and napkins.
What Needs Doing?
First thing you have to do, is think of all the jobs and steps that need doing. This should be easy by now, because we’ve covered them in the previous days. Click on the links below if you haven’t read them yet.
So take a look at all the things that need doing, not just on Christmas Day, but leading up to it as well. Break them up into what you can easily do, and what’s going to stretch you, whether that’s ability, time wise or financially.
Or break them up into what you like and don’t like to do! Give the don’t-likes to someone else!
Even if you are delegating just the one thing this Christmas, that’s one less thing for you to be thinking about and doing.
Christmas Food Menu
So you have the roast, the sides and the dessert.
Do you want anyone to bring anything? Perhaps someone can bring the carrots or cranberry sauce? Or whatever is traditional in your part of the world.
Or perhaps the dessert is a better option for someone to bring along?
On the odd Christmas when I didn’t do the cooking, I’d take cranberry sauce, gravy and Christmas pudding. Otherwise, I’d have to suffer cranberry sauce from a jar and gravy being made from boxed granules! That just ruins the Christmas meal for me. Especially bad gravy.
The alternative, if you’d like to keep it in house, or don’t have guests coming, get the others to pitch in on the prep work.
Remember, on Day 3, we looked at all the things that can be done the day before, on the ever of Christmas. So even your minions don’t have to do anything/much on Christmas Day.
- Get someone to peel the carrots, the potatoes and parsnips.
- The brussels sprouts need trimming – hand this job over to someone too.
- If you like, delegate the potatoes and parsnips to the supermarkets! As mentioned on Day 3, there are some very good frozen potatoes and parsnips sold at our local supermarkets. Cut down on your prep time and use those, if you don’t feel the need to make everything from scratch.
Who’s Carving the Turkey?
In our house, that tends to be the cook. I like to do it at the table itself, but my father-in-law prefers to do it in the kitchen, placing the meat on a serving plate, then taking it out to the table.
If you prefer someone else to be carving the turkey, decide on that in advance.
Make sure you also decide where it’s going to get done. You may think it’s no big deal, just a quick decision, but you’d be surprised how the smallest of decisions become monumental when you have a horde to feed. Whether that’s 6 people or 12 or 20.
Also, don’t forget to have your carving knife and fork all ready to use. We covered this on Day 2.
As mentioned on Day 1, many guests tend to bring a bottle. If you are making dinner, just make sure to mention this to one of your guests, just to make sure.
My father-in-law brings the drinks, so that’s something I don’t have to worry about.
Any entertaining we did, whatever the occasion, my husband was always in charge of seeing to the drinks. So that was also good. So, in your household, pick an adult who’s not cooking, and get him or her to see to the drinks.
Seeing to the drinks also means that they will need to know what’s on offer before the guests arrive. This was something my husband never quite got! No matter how many times I told him, he’d still come up to me once the guests arrived, to ask what have we got!
This Christmas, I’m thinking of asking my almost 20-year-old teetotaller (20 on New Year’s Eve 2020) to take over that task. I might have to educate him first, though. He won’t have a clue on how to open a wine bottle, nor know the difference between wine and sherry!
On second thoughts, why corrupt the boy?! My father-in-law can do it!
The Christmas Table
Don’t forget the table! Again, we looked at this on Day 3, in Getting Ahead Christmas, in which I gave you a Christmas Eve task list. One of those things was to set the table on the eve.
But as mentioned, this shouldn’t be your job, unless you desperately want to do it. Get one of your minions to do it, even of it’s just you and your partner this year (he/she is the minion!).
I have 4 kids, and for a long time now, they’ve always set the table. The girls especially love doing the napkins. When they were very little, I taught them to just place the napkin in the glasses, something we still do from time to time.
But as thy got a little older, they got more adventurous, especially after I got them a book on how to fold napkins 100 ways!
Don’t forget to get the right glasses for everyone at the table. Wine glasses, water glasses, etc. Get your partner to do this.
And remember, this is something we would have done on the eve, including the after dinner drink glasses.
Here in the UK, we have Christmas crackers at the table. These are cardboard crackers filled with novelty items. It’s a must.
My mother-in-law always gets these, so that’s something else you can delegate away. What used to annoy me is that the crackers she gets would always clash with our colours!
Yes, we have colour schemes every year, and when we’re doing blue, white and silver, she’d buy red Christmas crackers! I’ve long given up telling her.
There you have it, Secret #4 – Delegate, delegate, delegate!
I hope you find all these tips useful, and if there’s something you do that I haven’t mentioned, let me know with a comment below.
Or got a question? Ask away. Tag me on Instagram @azlinbloor whenever you want to!
Look out for our final Stress Free Christmas Secret tomorrow!