A traditional Christmas dinner is what everyone looks forward to all year long. And with your family and friends dining at your place this year, you want to make sure that you do it right. Follow these steps to plan the perfect Christmas dinner for your friends and loved ones this holiday season.
Decide on the guest list. Before you can really start to plan the food that you'll serve at your Christmas dinner, you need to know how many people you will be feeding. So start by creating your guest list. Write down the names of your family members, and don't forget their children! Take into account any extra mouths that might show up, like boyfriends, best friends and so on. As well, include any friends that you'd like to invite to make your holiday party complete.
Send out the invitations at least a month in advance. They don't have to be anything fancy. Even a quick phone call will do. You just need to give people enough notice so that they won't have something else scheduled on the evening of your Christmas dinner.
Decide where you will set up the table. With so many mouths to feed, you're going to need lots of space to seat everyone. Look around your home to find the perfect spot to set up your Christmas dinner table. It's best to have all of your guests eating Christmas dinner in the same room. But if this isn't possible, perhaps make a kid's table in another room of your house. Just make sure that you have enough chairs for everyone who will be attending.
Decide on your menu. With your guests invited and the space defined, you can start thinking about what you will serve for your Christmas dinner. You need to determine your menu at least 2 weeks ahead of time, especially if you have to order a turkey or a large ham. For reference, each guest will consume between one and two pounds of food, so plan accordingly. Serve potatoes, several kinds of vegetables, cranberry sauce, and some homemade pies. And of course, select a traditional Christmas meat like turkey or ham.
Clean out your fridge before you go shopping. Hosting a Christmas dinner requires a lot of space in your fridge. So before you go on your Christmas dinner shopping trip, make space in your fridge. Get rid of expired food, shift non-essentials to another fridge if possible, and clear the way for the large quantity of Christmas food that you're about to bring home.
Go shopping. A few days before your Christmas dinner, head off to the grocery store to purchase the necessary food. Make yourself a list before you leave so that you don't forget anything. Consider buying holiday napkins and a beautiful centerpiece for your Christmas dinner tables as well.
Prepare as much as you can in advance. To save yourself some time and stress on the day of your Christmas dinner, try to have as much food prepared ahead of time as possible (with the exception of your hot foods). Bake up cookies a day or two beforehand, and make your pies the day prior to your Christmas dinner. Then, prepare veggies the evening before your Christmas dinner. Cut carrots and peel potatoes, and store them in cold water until you are ready to cook them so that they don't dry out or lose their color.
Start early. On the day of your Christmas dinner, the meat is the first thing you need to deal with. Plan to have it in the oven first thing in the morning. Then proceed to prepare your vegetables throughout the afternoon. Set your Christmas dinner table, finish up with your cooking and get ready to greet your Christmas dinner guests.