- After unwrapping the presents from underneath the tree (first thing on Christmas morning, if you're like my family), everyone should gather up their presents and move them to an area of their own to display them - their desk, bed, or a place in the living room. (This is especially good for children, for when they want to show off their new toys to the relatives when they arrive.)
- Assign someone (such as the kids) the job to put all the wrapping paper and ribbons into bags (one for recyclables, one for rubbish), and take it out to the bins, leaving the floor neat and tidy again.
- The only thing for in surplus on Christmas Day than food, is dirty dishes. If you don't have a dish washer (into which all the plates at least should be stack as quickly as possible) and you're not using paper plates (again put them into rubbish bags as quickly as possible), don't leave the dishes until everyone is gone but start doing them during the rest required between main course and dessert. It's a great opportunity for some conversation inside, and of course many hands make light work. (Hang the tea towels afterwards on the oven door, if you've used it, to help dry.)
- Place extra bins (or buckets or boxes from presents) around the festive area for people to put empty beer bottles, drink cans or paper plates in straight away, rather than leaving them to clutter up the tables and create extra work for later.
- Left-over dishes should be wrapped in gladwrap and ideally be sent home with whoever brought them (meaning everyone should have some left-overs for the next few days, rather than one person filling up their fridge).
(images: Shandos Cleaver)