The holidays are just around the corner and it is our family tradition that we host Christmas Day dinner at our house. We have done this for the last ten years since getting married and both my side and hubby’s side of the family gather together, which is usually is about 25 people. It is a busy night and my boys especially love the how festive it is to have so many people around.
Here are some things that my family does to help make "The Big Dinner" less stressful!
In all our years of hosting, I never worry about dessert. My sister in law and my mom will always bring the sweets. Everyone loves to contribute and it is good to be specific in what you need.
I do some prep work the night before-especially all the things that need to be chopped. For example, I will start the stuffing by cubing the bread, chopping up celery and onion. After all the prep, load the dishwasher and wash everything so that the next day you start with a clean kitchen!
I like cooking some of the side dishes in the afternoon and then keeping them warm in slow cookers so I don’t have to think about them anymore. Dishes that work well with this method are mashed potatoes, rice, and stuffing.
We like everyone to sit together at one long table. It gets a bit cozy and I love this idea with decorating the chair backs with place cards and ribbon. I find it is easier for others to see their names and less clutter on the table. The boys help me write names along with setting the table.
We don’t have a bar fridge dedicated to drinks in our kitchen. A great idea is to fill-up a large cooler or metal bucket with ice to keep beverages chilled as the kitchen fridge is way too busy and full!
While we are cooking in the afternoon, the boys help me do the final tidy up of the house. I generally will have done most of the major cleaning in the few days proceeding Christmas.
I usually ask my parents to come over a little bit earlier to help with some of the cooking and final cleanup. Just remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself just because you are the host, ask for help!
Happy Holidays Everyone!