Let’s say you woke up today, it’s 8 hours till Christmas dinner time, you still have no plans, then you call a couple of friends and family and they all confirm coming to your house for a special celebration.

You’re happy for a moment until you remember you have like 7 hours and a half to prepare dinner and dessert for everyone - aside from having to get the house ready.

What was I thinking? How will I do this now?

Those are probably the questions going on your mind at the moment.

But let’s stop panicking and start thinking objectively!

There are a lot of last-minute Christmas ideas, both for recipes and decorations, that will make your party seem like it has been planned for a whole month! So, check them out!

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” - Norman Vincent Peale

Dinner Time

Butternut Squash & Sage Soup

A soup is the perfect dish to start a dinner with
Soup is the perfect dish to start a dinner with. Image source: Epicurious

This butternut squash and sage soup (with sage breadcrumbs!) is a perfect dish to get dinner started. It’s light, warm, and delicious! It takes around 40 to 50 minutes only to prepare so you’ll have a lot of time to prepare other dishes.

Winter Salad

A salad is great to make people satisfied without feeling stuffed.
A salad is great to make people satisfied without feeling stuffed. Image source: Taste of Home

Salads are always welcome at a party table, it makes us lose some of the guilt for eating too much during the holidays. So, make sure to have this gorgeous plate of salad on your table as well. You’ll need about 20 minutes to prepare it and you can even make it first thing and leave it covered in the fridge until serving time - flavors will not be affected.

Christmas Pasta

Pasta is a great way to add carbs and proteins to the dinner.
Pasta is a great way to add carbs and protein to the dinner. Image source: Food Network

Now, instead of preparing a ham or a turkey with potatoes siding, which are all delicious and traditional Christmas meals, why not innovate and make something just as delicious but simpler and quicker to prepare?

This special Christmas pasta recipe is made with a combination of Italian sausage, ground beef, pork, and veal. Plus some delicious veggies and a lot of seasonings. It takes about 35 minutes to prepare and everyone will love it!

Tip: You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and just cook the pasta right before serving, it’ll make the sauce even better and pasta taste fresh!

Dessert Time

Peppermint Dipped Oreos

Dipped Oreos are simple and quick to make.
Dipped Oreos are simple and quick to make. Image source: Mom On Timeout

This is probably one of the easiest dessert options you’ll find ever. This can be made in about 10 minutes + the time it takes for the chocolate to harden.

You basically need to:

  • Melt chocolate
  • Dip Oreos
  • Sprinkle some colors

You can also check and follow more detailed instructions, but really, there’s not many secrets to it. Have fun!

Simple Chocolate Mousse

Who doesn't love a chocolate mousse?
Who doesn’t love a chocolate mousse? Image source: taste

This mousse is so easy to make, it’s delicious, and it can be separated into individual portions ahead of time!

Ingredients are:

  • Dark chocolate (in pieces)
  • Thick custard
  • Thickened cream
  • Grated white chocolate

It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to prepare and it needs 1 hour in the fridge to cool and set.

Gingerbread Cookies

There's no Christmas if there's no gingerbread cookie.
There’s no Christmas if there’s no gingerbread cookie. Image source: Just so Tasty

It’s not Christmas without gingerbread cookies, right? This is one of the simplest recipes I ever found and I hope you love them as much as I do. You’ll need a total amount of time of 1 hour to prepare and bake the cookies - and it’s important that they’re cool before you frost them, so be sure to make them with some time to spare.

Table Decor

With all the time you need to go to the market, get all the ingredients, come back, and prepare the food you might end up forgetting that you actually need to set the table so people can eat.


There’s no need to worry because these ideas are so easy to make that you’ll need about 5 minutes of your time.

Ornaments Centerpiece

Pick up some leftover ornaments and place them on a nice plate.
Pick up some leftover ornaments and place them on a nice plate. Image source: Better Homes & Gardens

This idea is really simple, all you need are some leftover ornaments from your Christmas tree decoration and a nice bowl, cake holder or serving plate that won’t be used to serve dinner. Put the ornaments in there and place that in the middle of the table and you’ll have yourself a gorgeous and festive centerpiece!

Gifts Pile

Get some pretty gifts from under the tree and place them on the table.
Get some pretty gifts from under the tree and place them on the table. Image source: Good Housekeeping

Much like the previous idea, all you need is to pick up some Christmas gifts from under the tree and place them right on the middle of the table - I’d go with the smaller, square ones, so they don’t take up too much space.

And BAM,

Another gorgeous and festive centerpiece!

Tree Napkins

Fold your napkins to look like Christmas trees.
Fold your napkins to look like Christmas trees. Image source: Good Housekeeping

Depending on your folding skills, this idea might take a bit over 5 minutes, but if you skip the perfection and settle for “good enough” it can still make a beautiful Christmas table decoration.

Simply fold the napkins into triangles so they look like mini, adorable Christmas trees.

Tip 1: Use a tiny piece of paper as the tree trunk and mark the name of your guests.

Tip 2: If you have any Christmas decor item lying around, like some smaller ornaments, maybe some gift paper that you can cut into stars or something like that, use them to put on the napkin and give extra pizzazz!

If you decide to make EVERYTHING on this list (let’s be honest, nobody needs three different types of dessert and three different types of centerpieces!), it would take you something around 4 to 5 hours.

Get some extra helping hands from your family and you can even have enough time to sit down and rest before your guests arrive! I’m sure the kids would love dipping Oreos and decorating cookies!

What’s your favorite last-minute Christmas idea? Our Facebook page is always open to comments and suggestions, make sure to stop by!

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