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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Napier

6 Tips For a Stress-Free Christmas Dinner

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas trees, the smell of pine and peppermint, and sipping hot chocolate under a cozy blanket. It's also a time we spend with family, either opening up our homes or visiting others. If you're hosting Christmas Dinner this year, we know you may be feeling more than just Christmas cheer. With the holidays comes a season of business, stressing out over buying gifts and preparing large meals for family gatherings. Keep reading for six tips on how to host a stress-free Christmas dinner.

1. Make a List

Give yourself some peace of mind by making a list of everything that needs to be done. Write it all down by working backwards from the time you'll be serving dinner. Be realistic about timeframes, maybe even overestimating a little bit so you won't have to rush and feel overwhelmed in the midst of it.

2. Prepare Food Ahead of Time

Prepare whatever food you can ahead of time in the days before Christmas. Casseroles typically re-heat well in the oven. Make desserts that you can store in the fridge (or even better, on the counter). Prepare salads without adding the dressings until serving. Whatever you can do in advance, do it! This will give you less to do on the actual day of your dinner.

3. Thaw Your Turkey

With this time of the year being a little hectic, it's no wonder a lot of people either forget or underestimate how long it takes to thaw a turkey! It's recommended to allow your turkey at least one day per every 4-5 pounds to thaw. Be sure to thaw your turkey in the fridge, because the consistent temperature prevents bacteria from growing. Put your turkey "start to thaw" date on your calendar so you don't forget!

4. Delegate What You Can

Don't want to make all of the food for your Christmas Dinner? Ask your guests to bring something! It's totally understandable, because making everything yourself is a lot of work! Something that works well is for the host to make the main dish (the turkey) and the guests to bring sides and desserts. If your family arrives early, they can help you cook!

5. Serve Snacks

Keep hungry guests happy in case you underestimate how long it takes to cook your Christmas dinner by serving light snacks and refreshments! My family usually arrives a few hours early to help, but in those few hours we get hungry! This doesn't have to be anything extravagant. We usually put out some chips and dip or a vegetable tray.

6. Set Ground Rules

Is there a particular topic that gets your family heated? Announce before your family dinner that certain conversation topics will be off-limits. This will help avoid conflict and make the dinner more enjoyable for everyone!

We hope these tips will help you have less stress and more joy this holiday season! Have a recommendation you'd like to share? Leave us a comment so everyone can see your tip!

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