Everything looks so great in the pictures – the turkey bronzed to perfection, the trimmings piled high.
There is not a soggy Brussels sprout in sight and the gravy would get an A grade in a lump test.
Your stomach sinks as the stress slowly kicks in. How are you going to create all of this on Christmas Day?
“There will be some crazy people on Christmas morning,” laughs Paul Hart, head chef at The Scotsman Hotel. “It’s all about the planning, though – and making things as simple as you can for yourself.”
According to Paul, it is possible to make the preparation of your annual festive dinner less stressful – if not entirely stress free – with just a bit of organisation.
So how can it be done?
“Start by writing out your menu,” he says. “The list should have everything you need to do. When you are shopping, buy your veg in advance. Do not leave it until there is hardly anything left in the shops and they are really busy.
“People also try to do everything on Christmas morning, even though a lot can be done beforehand.”