Christmas – much like our usual topic of weddings – can be a stressful event in spite of its festive implications. For the one who has the hefty task of preparing the Christmas dinner for family and friends, the stress can be multiplied tenfold. This week, we take a look at how to make the preparation and cooking of the biggest meal of the year that little bit easier with Brook Catering, and also look at how the humble umbrella can be a fantastically festive addition to the proceedings.

Christmas Dinner De-stressed

Timing - Many people will tell you the most important thing about the Christmas dinner or lunch is timing. Cooking the turkey perfectly is the main thing everyone wants to achieve, and for a bird that takes so long in the oven, cooks must be mindful of getting everything to the table at the same time. The general timing rules of cooking turkey are fifteen minutes per pound, then a further half an hour with tin foil pulled back.

Pre-cook – Take away some of the stress by pre-cooking the potatoes and parsnips the day before. Whilst Christmas Eve tends to  be a busy day, there are a few spare hours in which to prepare a few vital bits of the meal. Then, come the big day, just stick the potatoes and parsnips in the oven a few minutes before the turkey needs to come out and you will have perfectly timed, perfectly warm potatoes and veg!

Delegate – Don’t be afraid to relinquish some of the power this Christmas Day and let the family help you with the less important tasks. The kids can have fun laying  elements of the table, and the whole process of decorating it can be a fun way of getting the family to feel as though they've been part of the cooking.

Get Festive with Umbrellas

Umbrellas are not just for practical use, they can be a really great way of adding some fun to the festive time of year. Not only are they customisable with messages but the wide array of colours make them easy to accessorise with Christmas outfits, here are a few top tips for making the humble umbrella a must-see decoration for the season.

Branded umbrella – If you are full of Christmas spirit this season and feel like sharing the joy, why not buy yourself a branded umbrella with a cheesy Christmas message to give passers by a warm feeling inside, in spite of the rain!

Colour coordinate – Buy a few umbrellas in festive colours like green, red and gold so you can accessorise them with each of your favourite winter outfits. Alternate them throughout the season and feel the spirit of Christmas grow every time you use one!

Decorate for fun – Buying a plain umbrella gives you the option to decorate it however you like. A fun thing for kids and parents to do together, decorate it with tinsel, glitter and snowflakes and let imaginations run wild.

Table talk – We have seen a few great examples of umbrellas being used as hanging centrepieces for wedding reception tables and the technique can be used for Christmas too!
Whether it is for a festive party, or on the day itself, decorating the umbrella handle as a candy cane and using Christmassy colours can really add a a talking point to the table.

So there we have it, a whole range of things to make your Christmas Day a little less stressful and a little more quirky. If you have any time-saving techniques or some pictures of how you've used umbrellas on your special occasions, get in touch with us!