Christmas time is here and its coming up in a few days. I am sure by now you have finished your shopping and figuring out what to do. Here are ways to make your Christmas gatherings a fun and enjoyable one where you do not have to spend a lot of your time in the kitchen. Spend more time with your loved ones instead of being on your feet the whole time. You need to enjoy it too and not just do all the work. A helping hand does go a long way. When others ask to help you or takes the initiative, let them.
Here are the 12 Easy ways:
1. When you know you are having a big gathering at your home and invited people over, the most important thing is to do the baking and dessert’s a day or 2 before. Nothing will go wrong with it. If it needs to go in the fridge or freezer nothing will happen to it. Don’t leave to the day of.
2. The day before, set the table, cutlery, napkins, plates and add centrepieces to your table, but not too big so your food dishes can fit on the table.
3. Don’t go over crazy to cook so many different things. 4-5 different things for dinner is good enough. If you serve chicken, turkey, roast, pork chops, ham. Go with one or 2 of them from the meat list, and then choose salad and rice or whatever you want to make or whatever is part of your Christmas tradition. Plus if you want to make gravy. Cook all of this stuff except if you are making salad or rice. That can be cooked and prepared before the guests start arriving and then have all the other food cooked from the morning. It can be heated up after for 10 to 15 minutes, then you take to your table and voila. — Don’t go over the top. Chances are you will eat left overs for the next week or so. Don’t want that.
4. Putting chips, assortment of nuts(If no one is allergic), salsa, nachos, guacamole, dips, veggie platters, finger foods in the beginning will get your guests full. People will over indulge, so its not a good idea to put so many things out in the beginning. Don’t spend too much time with putting these before the hard work you went through cooking all that food for dinner. Take them out after dinner along with dessert.
5. When others bring something when it comes to food, dessert, a bottle of wine or something like a gift, It is customary and proper etiquette to open and serve them too. Unless, they advise you otherwise, then its ok to keep it for yourself to open privately, but again open whatever is brought to you and in front of the people who brought them. It makes them feel good to see your reaction.
6. have coffee/tea ready — before just add the water to the machines and measure extra water and coffee grinds on the side in case you need to make more and then just go back and press the button and then continue on entertaining your guests and spend time with them until it is done.
7. Clearing plates and everything for dinner is great, but end it there. Don’t start washing and sorting, drying and all that. It takes a lot of quality time away from your loved ones. If they want to help, that is fine. I am sure they won’t let you clear away the table all on your own. They will help with everything and bring it to the kitchen and everything else will be dealt with after.
8. When you have a lot of people, disposable cutlery and plates are the way to go. If you have more than 10 to 15 people or more, its a good idea. You don’t have to spend time washing dishes.
9. Plan the Christmas week.. Plan a day to do your grocery shopping, and then make sure you have all the ingredients needed to make it. Sometimes getting extra ingredients are better in case something goes wrong which it can in some cases. Never leave anything to the last day.
10. Be efficient and organized as well as making sure the house is clean, the kitchen and all that.
11. ***Always monitor how many drinks your guests have. Don’t let them drink and then drive later. Make sure to call taxis if need be or allow your guests that are impaired to sleep over and go home the next day or if they come with another person who has not had anything to drink, they should be the designated driver. It is your responsibility if they drink and drive because they are driving from your home. Be the elephant in the room and don’t permit them to go. Police have RIDE Spot checks out more during the holidays and don’t put yourself or others lives in danger on the roads because of a careless wrong doing***
12. breathe and don’t be stressed out. Christmas gatherings should be fun and enjoyable as it can be. Don’t panic if some things go wrong. It will be a memory you will laugh about as the years go by.
Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a blessed, happy and healthy New year of 2018!