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Planning Your Christmas Party Menus

By CJ Tuttle / November 15, 2019
Family at Christmas dinner

Cooking and baking are all part of the Christmas fun, but it can get hectic. With all the parties taking place and Christmas dinner to plan it is easy to become overwhelmed. Here are some tips that can help you deal with all that so you can enjoy the holiday season.

Christmas new year dinner group concept

Christmas Parties: Grab Your Calendar

Thefirst thing to do is to grab a calendar and write down all the events you willbe attending that require you to cook or bring something. If you use a nice bigone, you can also use it for writing down recipe ideas and shopping lists.

What Are You Bringing to the Party?

Next,write down under the event what you are bringing. This way you can determinewhat cooking you can do all at the same time, what you can just purchase, andwhat will take more effort. With a calendar, even if you get a last-minuteinvite, you can quickly see what you are already planning and where you can fitin that event.

Buy Your Supplies Early

Buyearly and buy in bulk. Things like sugar and flour can be purchased ahead oftime and in bulk. If you can’t use 25 pounds of sugar, then have a friend go inwith you. Start buying for Christmas meals when you buy for Thanksgiving.

Kitchen Universe, The Kitchen Store

Christmas Cooking Pro Tip: Bake and Freeze

If you are going to be doing a lot of baking, then pick out a day or two and get it all done. Bake all the cookies, pies, and bread you need at one time. Put them in airtight containers or bags, label them clearly and freeze. Take them out the day before you need them.  You can do cakes this way too and put in the icing when you thaw them. Candies keep awhile so freezing for these may not be necessary.

Table served for Christmas dinner

Cook Ahead

Othertypes of food can be prepared ahead and frozen too, including many casseroles.For Christmas dinner, do as much of the prep work that you can the day before.Chop the vegetables, make up the salads, and work on desserts. The less youhave to do Christmas Day, the better. Use trusted recipes or try them ahead oftime.

Create a Cooking Timeline

Figureout what time you want to eat dinner and then design a timeline of cooking fromthere. Post it on a cupboard where you can check it often. Put everything fromchopping to putting the turkey in the oven on your timelines.


Setup designated areas for things like desserts to keep things organized. Cleaningup as you go is a huge help. Put someone in charge of keeping the dishes washedup. Even a child can help with such jobs.  Delegate! Assign everyoneto bring something. Even Uncle Joe, who lives alone and doesn’t cook, can bringstore-bought rolls.


Planningwhere everyone will sit is a must if you are having a large group or a mixedgroup that includes children. Card tables work great for kids or intimate adultseating. If you have limited seating space and have small children, spread abright holiday tablecloth on the floor and let them sit on that. Makes cleaningup a breeze.


Now is the time to relax and enjoy your friends and family. Good food goes along with Christmas and family-like snow and winter. It’s meant to be. Don’t let the cooking and baking overtake the wonderful time that you should be enjoying with your family.

Family at Christmas dinner
About the author

CJ Tuttle