Create an Unforgettable Christmas Dinner
Edited by Shalom, Eng, Lynn, Rebecca M. and 1 other
Christmas is approaching quickly and with it will come family gatherings, gift exchanges, and the much anticipated traditional feast. Having large gatherings around the holidays is part of what makes them special. With today's fast paced lifestyle we often don't get to see our loved ones as much as we'd like and the holidays bring everyone together. If you are the host of this year's gathering however, sometimes the amount of work to be done in preparation can leave you very little time to spend with the family. There are many things that you can do ahead of time to make sure that their is ample time for you to enjoy the festivities as much as your guests do.
Two Weeks in Advance
- 1This is to control how plenty the food is which is enough to feed all who attended.Finalize your list of guests and confirm the number of people who will actually be attending.
- 2Make sure to find out if any of your guests have special diets that will require adjustments. Try to choose some dishes that can be served at room temperature. This will eliminate the last minute worry about hot dishes getting cold or cold dishes getting warm.Prepare your menu and collect the necessary recipes.
- 3Stock up on canned and dried goods such as vegetables, flour, and sugar that might be in short supply once the holiday crowds descend on the grocery stores. Items such as croutons for stuffing and canned pumpkin will be hard to find if you wait too long.Shop for any non-perishable items now.
- 4Delegate some of these tasks to family members who are willing to help. Pick up any refreshments that will be needed, alcoholic or otherwise. These items can be easily stored in a closet until you are ready for them.If necessary, place an order for the rental of extra chairs, tables, dishes, etc.
One Week in Advance
- 1These vegetables do not have to be refrigerated and will keep well for a week.Start purchasing some of the hardier vegetables such as squash, potatoes, turnips and parsnips.
- 2Get whatever amount of heavy cream or whipped topping that you will need for the holiday.
- 3Bring out the roasting pan for your turkey or ham, serving platters, and any other dishes that have been stored away since the last holiday.
Three Days in Advance
- 1Meat (especially poultry) should never be thawed at room temperature because it will allow bacteria to grow. If your turkey is extremely large (over 20 pounds) allow an extra day for defrosting.If your turkey is frozen, bring it out and find a space in the refrigerator for it to defrost.
Two Days in Advance
- 1Things like pumpkin pies, cheesecakes,any kind of casserole, cranberry sauce, and stuffing will be fine in the fridge until the big day. Pies such as apple and pecan should not be baked too early because the crust may become soggy.Make the things that can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
The Day Before
- 1Breads, rolls, cakes, and any remaining pies. Set up tables and chairs to make sure that there is plenty of room for everyone. Drape the tables with cloths and put finishing touches on anything that needs it.Bake anything that isn't done yet.
- 2Prepare for any overnight guests that are coming, sit back and relax with the family and get ready to prepare your Christmas feast.
- If you have plenty to feed, you should have food and cooking committee to prepare for the food.
- Things will almost never go just the way that you've planned, just roll with it. The important thing is that you are together with your family and everyone is having fun.
- Make sure that you have plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. You'll probably have all the help that you need in the kitchen (and some that you don't), but if the kids aren't entertained things might get a bit hectic.
- The most important thing to do is remember what the holidays are all about. Whether dinner is picture perfect or not, you are surrounded by your loved ones and that means more than anything else.
- When having dinner, you can also conduct sharing with your family. Find time to talk about the happy experiences of your family members. When there are guests then you should let them cope with you by sharing also to them the story.
- Have activities for adults and bare with their age.