It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas can easily descend into chaos. Follow The Field's guide to Christmas and breeze through the festive season


Father Christmas may have his elves on hand but for us mere mortals, Christmas can become quite the festive frenzy. With presents to buy, cards to send and a festive feast to plan, shortcuts and simple methods are absolutely necessary. Fortunately, The Field has the answer to every Christmassy question. Follow The Field’s guide to Christmas for an impressive festive roast, suitably sporting Christmas cards and how to make your silverware sparkle.

Make your Christmas shopping simple this year, with The Field’s recommended gifts. With suggestions for sprogs, dogs and everyone else in your life, there’s no need for any last minute panics.


Guide to Christmas. Carving

Carving is a skill that every man should possess.

Whether it’s an unexpected guest for tea or the entire brood on the 25th, Christmas is the time to throw open our doors and entertain. Hand-crafting may be the last thing on your extensive To-Do list, but making your own Christmas crackers is simpler than you think. And you can fill them with the best goodies.

A man who doesn’t know how to carve meat is a festive liability. Read how to carve meat well and the history of carving to stand up at the table with confidence, and to learn about its ancient and noble history. And a well carved turkey must be served with your best silverware and glassware. But if your best glasses have seen one Christmas too many and are beginning to chip, read how to repair chipped glass. No need to store them out of sight or risk a cut lip. And polish your silver to perfection with our guide, how to clean silver well.


Guide to Christmas. Cake

This fig, chocolate and cognac cake by Philippa Davis is an excellent alternative to Christmas pud.

With your glassware gleaming and silver sparkling, an impressive roast is in order to complete the festive table. Skip the standard turkey this year and try a multi-bird roast, guaranteed to wow. Read how to cook a three-bird roast. But one can only manage so many homemade efforts this Christmas, so don’t be afraid to call in back up. The 6 best Christmas puddings and the 6 top fruitcakes are the best puds and Christmas cakes to grace the shop shelves this year. And don’t let the Christmas pud nay-sayers go hungry. The 5 best alternatives to Christmas pudding will keep even the fussiest eaters happy.


Best country Christmas cards. CA

Huntsman & hounds in the snow by Katie Scorgie for the Countryside Alliance.

The shops are best avoided at this time of year, overrun with enraged shoppers laden with bags. But if you must enter the frenzy, follow The Field’s advice and shop smart. The best country Christmas cards are suitably sporting for rural types to spread festive cheer. And they support fantastic country causes. But be wary, even with good intentions and country charity Christmas cards, you could inadvertently be putting money in the antis’ pockets. Read are you funding the antis this Christmas? and be careful about shopping with their donors.


Guide to Christmas

Robins and sprigs of holly are synonymous with the season of goodwill.

Rural types are a traditional crowd and at Christmas there are symbols and conventions aplenty. But do you know the history behind our familiar, festive traditions? For everything you could ever need to know about fruitcake, read fruitcake facts. And for the cracking invention that sets Christmas off with a bang read the history of Christmas crackers. Will you try your luck at scoring the ubiquitous mini screwdriver set this year?

Of all the festive symbols, none is more synonymous with the season of goodwill than holly. It is sung of in carols, adorns our doors as welcoming wreaths, features on countless Christmas cards and no Christmas plum pud is properly dressed without a sprig of holly. Read holly: it wears the crown for more on this festive symbol. And Christmas animals will always play a part in festive tales and traditions. From the donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem to the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh, Christmas would be incomplete without their stories. Read Christmas animals: bestiary of a feast day.