Eeek! It’s just under seven weeks until Christmas, and if you’re hosting a lunch or dinner at your place there’s probably a lot to organise. Here are seven tips for a perfect Christmas meal without the stress: just do one per week and you’re sorted!

Week 1. Order the essentials online


Sort out your foodie favourites in advance with Aussie Farmers Direct and you won’t have to think about them until just before the big day.

Week 2. Make a menu plan

It’s all about the plan! Your menu is the centrepiece of the Christmas Day, and once you have it sorted, everything else will fall into place. If you’re looking for a swathe of ideas to suit the vibe of your occasion – from traditional, to seafood barbecue, to vegetarian – check out taste.com.au‘s comprehensive Christmas Menu Plans.

Week 3. Check your equipment

Once you have an idea of what you’re cooking and who is coming, it’s time to take stock. Do you have all the right kitchen tools to cook what you’ve planned? Have you got enough chairs, plates, cutlery and table linen? Use this week to beg, borrow and hire until you’ve got everything you need.

Week 4. Get crafty

If you really want to wow your guests, get stuck in to a few deceptively simple craft projects and dress your table with handmade centrepieces and place settings. Try these paper covered Christmas trees at Crate Paper blog or channel Martha Stewart with pretty paper plate angels and crepe paper bells as place cards.

Week 5. Get your fresh stuff delivered

Put your meal plan in to action again and make a list of all the ingredients required. Avoid the supermarket crush and once again click over to Aussie Farmers Direct.

Week 6. Do a trial run


Practice makes perfect, and if you’re planning to cook up any dishes that you haven’t attempted before, it pays to have a dress rehearsal. This is also a great point to work out what foods can be made in advance and frozen, or partially prepared the day before.

Week 7. Finishing touches


You’re almost there! It’s time to make like the professionals and create a run-sheet for the day, listing jobs in chronological order. Assign as many tasks as you can to friends and family so you don’t feel the need to clone yourself. Then when the day rolls around, pour yourself a great big glass of champagne and simply follow the plan. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!