Anyone who has ever hosted a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or New Year’s meal can attest to the fact that by the time it came to the actual meal, they were too stressed out and tired to benefit from all the time and effort they put into getting everything ready. The preparations do tend to be somewhat stressful and draining with all the running around “like a chicken without a head” in our attempt to make sure that everything gets done and no detail is left out. How does preparing for the big bash without all the stress sound to you? Think it’s impossible? Think again.
- Probably the most important and de-stressing step you can take in order to have a stress-less preparation stage is planning ahead of time. Anything that can, should be bought (and made) ahead of time. There is no reason for you to wait until the week of the holiday to buy your accessories and supplies you need to create your centerpieces.
- Any dish that will taste just the same whether it is made the day of or defrosted the day of should be prepared in advance. Most soups freeze very well, not to mention desserts. These courses can be prepared well ahead of time, even as much as two weeks beforehand. Just about everything else can be made a day or two ahead of time, stored tightly in proper containers, and refrigerated. The only foods that need to be made the day of are foods that are perishable, i.e. salads. Even those foods can be prepared in advance – just leave the dressing for the last minute!
- If anybody offers to make something, never turn them down. Pride aside, no matter how capable you may be one dish off your list will spare you some precious time, whether it may be 10 minutes or an hour. Every minute makes a difference.
- Feel free to delegate jobs. Put different family members or close friends in charge of little odds and ends. Put one or two people in charge of setting the table, and another in charge of hanging up coats etc.
Plan right, plan in advance and get your well-deserved sleep, and you’re on your way to a most enjoyable Holiday season.