Preparing a successful family dinner for the holidays can be done by planning. Seeing to preparations ahead of time allows a person to have time to be unrushed and attend the important details. Additionally, doing prep work ahead of time frees you up when your family arrives, leaving you to enjoy your loved ones.

 

Check Your Guest List for People Who May Have Food Sensitivities

When you extend the invitation to the holiday meal, be sure to ask if anyone has food sensitivities. It’s ideal to have a few dishes available for people who are vegetarians, gluten-free, and for anyone who might have diabetes. Using a syrup like Monin can be a helpful option for a sugar-free desert while sticking to favorites like prime rib, turkey, or salmon will satisfy both the gluten-free and gluten-indulgent guests alike.

 

Chop Vegetables Three Days in Advance

Often, chopping vegetables is a big part of prep work for holiday meals. Vegetables like broccoli, onions, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower can be pre-chopped and stored in containers in the refrigerator up to three days in advance. This will save you a lot of work on cooking day.

 

Make Pies and Other Desserts the Day before the Holiday Meal

Making pie crusts often leaves the family cooks getting up at the wee hours of the morning on cooking day. To avoid this and reduce stress, make the desserts the morning before your family arrives for the holiday meal. If you’re unable to do this due to work obligations, remember it is fine to ward off stress and order a few desserts from your local bakery.

 

Have Your Recipes Printed for Cooking Day

Printed recipes will save you tons of time on the day of the meal. If you have a recipe for you, this saves you from looking through a cookbook or trying to find the right recipe site online in the middle of preparations. Simply print them early in the week and put them in a bin on your kitchen counter for maximum convenience.

 

Make Sure You Have Adequate Seating

Seating is something that should be a priority for holiday meals. Be sure to count the number of children and adults attending, so everyone has a place to sit during the meal. Foldable chairs and TV stands also work in a pinch to ensure everyone is accommodated and comfortable.

 

Family holiday meals can have enough stress of their own without the actual meal preparation contributing to it. More and more people are opting for time with their loved ones over a perfected meal. Be sure to give yourself plenty of grace and time to spend with your family, and the next gathering may be the best one yet.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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