We cannot leave everything for the last minute. But what are the preparation steps we can do much more in advance?
Any non-cream soup could be cooked 3 days earlier. Fish soups, ragus, bouillons
You can cut and vacuum the vegetables for the soups
Oven-baked, steamed, or mashed vegetables could be cleaned and cut in right pieces even a week earlier if you vacuum them and put them into the fridge. If you don’t have vacuum sealer, you can do the same 2 days in advance.
Mashed vegetables can be prepared without adding the cream or the milk. But cutting, cooking, mashing could be done 2 days in advance.
Onions needed for the meals could be cut days earlier, vacuum seal or put into the fridge.
Chutneys - do them weeks earlier. But only if you don’t use butter!
Marinade 1-3 days earlier.
Sous vide could be done a week ahead.
If you prepare the oven-roasted meat with spice couple of days earlier, you can vacuum seal and put into fridge.
Stews can be done 3-5 days earlier, they even taste better.
Christmas cookies are better if you make them 2 weeks earlier.
Cakes should be done 1-2 days earlier.
Desserts like puddings are best if you prepare them the night before.
You see, there are many things to prepare in advance. Time to start and enjoy!