Possibly the best meal of the year (until you get to use the leftovers) – Christmas dinner is a big deal, there’s no point denying it. With so much going on all on one plate, it can be difficult at the best of times, let alone if you’re doing it for the very first time. Fear not – we’ve put together our top tips for making Christmas dinner – so you can avoid the whole burnt turkey and rock-hard sprouts scenario.

Pre-Christmas Day Prep

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when preparing for Christmas dinner is thinking you can do it all last minute. There are a few things you need to prep in good time first, so make sure you and your kitchen are well prepared with the following.


Even the best chefs in the world can’t cook without the right tools, so make sure you have the right kit ready, from carving knives to measuring jugs.

Christmas Tableware

Cutlery and serving ware

Nobody wants to be eating chicken with a spoon – make sure you have enough cutlery! (And remember, if you’re serving a starter and main, that means two sets per person.) Other things to keep in mind – gravy boats, wine glasses and serving bowls for the veg.


The bird’s gotta be stored somewhere. Fridge or freezer, make sure you’ve got enough space. If that means devouring the last of the ice cream, it’s a small price to pay.

Shopping List

Put Together That Christmas Shopping List

Work out what you want and write down what you need – that way you save yourself the hassle of having to decide when you’re out shopping! But what exactly do you want on your Christmas food shopping list? Traditional Christmas dinner recipes may call for a certain type of meat or veg, but today there’s a lot of choice.

Psst… no time to make that list? We’ve created your Christmas dinner checklist for you - Download a FREE printable version or view it below!

Click to Download the Perfect Christmas Dinner Checklist

On the plate

Turkey or ham? Beef or lamb? And when it comes to veg, what do you choose to accompany your favourite Brussels sprouts – cabbage, broccoli, or both? From greens to roots, preference is personal, but just make sure you have enough to go around.

In the glass

Not to be outdone by the plate or by no means forgotten about, drinks can share centre stage when it comes to Christmas dinner. From award-winning SPAR Perlezza Prosecco to a fine selection of champagne – nothing washes down a traditional Christmas dinner better than a bit of bubbly. For a softer choice, our award-winning SPAR wine selection also has something for everyone.

Christmas Mince Pies


Not forgetting the finisher, it’s always good to decide which dessert(s) you want to treat yourself to. Whether you’re content with one or crave a selection to go around, SPAR’s range includes everything from trifle to mince pies and cheese and crackers.

What now?

Still wondering how to prepare Christmas dinner? It’s all about prioritising, so work out what you need to do on Christmas Eve as well as what can wait for Christmas day. Once your psyched up and prepared for the big day, it’s all about timing and performance. Stick to the recommended schedule in our Beginners’ Christmas Dinner Checklist, and all should go smoothly.


Find everything you need when preparing for Christmas dinner in our downloadable Christmas food checklist above, and stay one step ahead this year for your first attempt. Check out our 12 deals of Christmas for more festive deals to make your first time hosting Christmas extra special.