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Don’t worry if you seem to be worrying constantly this holiday season – everyone gets a bit panicky this time of year, especially when you have family over. Luckily, we’ve been able to speak to celebrity chef Byron Ortiz about how he keeps Christmas Day under control, especially when it comes to mealtimes!

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His first tip – plan in advance. “There’s no shame in pre-preparing food. Normally, I prepare the hors d’ouevre [a posh word for starter] and dessert a few days before, and keep them in the fridge. That way, come mealtime, I can whip them out of the fridge and everyone will be able to chow down on them, whilst I get to concentrate on the main course.”


“Leave everyone time between courses”, he tells us. “Let people get down from the table – they can go to the loo, talk together, and the kids get to play with their new gifts. We don’t want a bladder failure mid-course.”

He stressed, however, that everyone must eat together. “Even lock doors if you have to. Forced family time – that’s what the holidays are about!”

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After the meal, keep everyone at the table for a little while. “Get some discussion going; catch up with family you haven’t spoken to for a while. The kids can get down and play outside if they have to, but the adults should stay in the dining room for a little while.” And, of course, get the sherry out! You’ve deserved it.


So, hopefully we’ve equiped you with tips that will help you make it through this holiday season. We can help make it a little easier, but nobody can say anything to help you get the image of the dance Grandpa did after a bit too much sherry in ’09. Sorry to bring the memory back.

We wish you a very happy holiday season! The next edition of Oh My Plumbob! will be back in the new year – in the meantime, why not take a look back at some of our other editions? Tell us what you think with #OMP or in the comments. Merry Christmas!