Some of you may loathe the thought of Christmas prep in November, but the big day does require some organising. So have you thought about what you’ll be eating and drinking yet, and, more importantly, where you’ll be getting it from?
For me, Christmas food seems to require a fair amount of planning. Growing up, there used to be a barn in my grandparents’ village that was full of turkeys. It required some early preparation – you’d go along there in late summer, pick a turkey out, watch it grow and fatten up over the autumn months, and then it would arrive all ready for you a couple of days before Christmas.
These days, getting everything in for Christmas in my family’s household is a lot less rustic.
Gathering festive food
Admittedly, my mum does the lion’s share of the grocery shopping, as we’ll invariably be spending the big day in the family home. And she’s something of a Lidl fan. ‘It’s German and they know how to do Christmas. Their stollen is second to none,’ she reasons.
She’ll be pleased to know that judging by the results of this year’s annual Which? festive taste tests, it seems she’s on to something there. In a survey of 1,393 Which? members, Aldi was voted the top supermarket for buying your turkey for the festive season, followed closely by Lidl.
However, independent shops and butchers came out top overall, beating all the supermarkets. They also came first for taste.
These days, my mum will swerve the long queues at the butcher’s in town in Christmas week, as she’ll have already bagged a frozen turkey from Lidl in late November, ‘just in case they sell out’.
And what veg isn’t grown in the patch at the bottom of the garden will likely come from the weekly market (except the potatoes – she’ll go to Sainsbury’s for those, as she believes they’re better). Indeed, independent shops were voted the best place to buy your Christmas vegetables.
The pigs in blankets and chestnut stuffing will probably come courtesy of M&S or Waitrose, and she’ll pop into Lidl once again a couple of days after Christmas to get in next year’s Christmas pudding, ‘so it can mature’ in the larder.
To lessen the burden, I’ll then get in all the odds and ends – the cold meats, the cheeses, the duck liver pate, the snacks, the prawn ring starter, the brandy butter… and the booze.
Festive taste test
So where will you be gathering your Christmas lunch and treats from this year? Do you buy everything in one place or do you shop around? And are there some shops that are part of your Christmas tradition?