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Meal planning tips for stressfree holiday meals

10 Meal Planning Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Meals

When it comes to hosting holiday parties and family events, it is important to plan ahead and come up with a game plan several weeks before the big day or event.
Here are 10 important tips to help you enjoy a stress-free holiday party.
1. When hosting family gatherings, we tend to over invite guests. Keep your guest list manageable and only invite the amount of people that you feel you can handle. Inviting too many guests will cause over-crowding and unnecessary stress.
2. There is nothing wrong with asking others to help out by bringing a dish, dinner supplies or even showing up early or staying an hour late to help you prep or clean up after the meal.
3. Keep your decorations and decor simple. You don’t need to go all out and decorate every nook and cranny of your home or entertaining space.
4. Clean your home and entertaining space a week in advance. Then the day before the gathering, go back in and just do some light cleaning.
5. Plan your menu weeks in advance. You can precook or bake a lot of your foods and freeze them for the big day. Just thaw the day before and reheat on party day. If you don’t have time to cook and bake, consider a fully catered or partially catered meal.
6. Two weeks before the holiday gathering, draft up a supplies list. Make sure you will have enough dinner plates, bowls, serving utensils, silverware, tablecloths, chairs, etc. If you don’t have enough, there is nothing wrong with asking some of your guests to bring their supplies along.
7. Make clean up a snap by loading your dishwasher or washing dirty dishes, pots and pans as you go along. After a big meal, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in your kitchen cleaning up.
8. Ask your spouse and children to help you prepare for the family gathering. They are quite capable of cleaning the house, setting up tables and chairs and decorating, which will free you up to do the more important part…cooking and baking for your guests.
9. I like to over cook and have an abundance of food for my guests. It is better to have extra food than not have enough. Go to your local discount store and purchase several plastic food storage containers and you can send home leftovers with your party guests.
10. If you are serving alcoholic beverages, don’t over do it. Only purchase and serve enough alcoholic beverages for each guest to have two drinks. By limiting what is on hand, you won’t have to worry about intoxicated guests driving home. Make sure you have plenty of bagged ice on hand for serving beverages.
By planning out your holiday meal in advance, you can cut down on pre-party stress and anxiety. Take your time, make your lists and don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. You want your holiday party to be as stress-free and as enjoyable as possible.

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