If you have never prepared and cooked a traditional Christmas dinner for your family before the thought of completing this task can be daunting!  Preparation is definitely the key to success, plan what meats, vegetables, accompaniments and trimmings you want to include and source the ingredients.  You may want to use all fresh vegetables but the frozen option can be easier and cheaper so don’t rule it out. How many family members are you going to cook for, do any of them have food allergies or intolerances, are they all meat eaters?  If you purchase your required food weeks before Christmas you can spread the cost, as long as there is room in your freezer, Yorkshire puds, pigs-in-blankets and frozen veggies can be purchased and kept safe. Packets and jars, such as stuffing mixes, cranberry sauce, horseradish and mustard can also be kept safely in your cupboard several weeks in advance.

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Cooking all the food associated in a Christmas dinner on your own is a mammoth task and probably not much fun, so if it’s possible think about using Food Safety Consultants or persuade a trusted family member to help you.  On Christmas eve a lot of the preparation for Christmas day can be completed, lay your table ready with Christmas tableware and accessories, use place name cards, place alcoholic and soft drinks close to the table.  Have a plan for Christmas day, get up early and enjoy the festivities.